Der Kaiser von Atlantis & Music for the End of Time
BBC SO Total Immersion: Music for the End of Time
Extraordinary music written amid the hopelessness of prison and concentration camps that dared to seek the truth – and to hope for better times.
In 1943, Theresienstadt inmates Viktor Ullmann and Peter Kien started to collaborate on a stage work. It would use whatever singers, musicians and instruments were at hand, drawing on styles ranging from jazz and cabaret to Lutheran chorales and grand Czech symphonies. The result was Der Kaiser von Atlantis, a political satire in which Death goes on strike, thwarting the emperor’s plans to maintain his power through endless war. Der Kaiser was quickly quashed when the Nazis saw their own leader in its critique of a petty despot.
Two years earlier, French composer Olivier Messiaen wrote Quartet for the End of Time in a labour camp. It has been described as ‘an intimate expression of awe, a prophetic collective scream and a delirious dance all at once.’ Its closing eulogy expresses the ascent of humankind to paradise.
The performance ends at approximately 9.45pm, with a 20-minute interval.
Produced by the BBC Symphony Orchestra
Choose your seat for each of the priced events and ensure you pick 'Total Immersion Day Pass' as the ticket type. Once a seat from each event has been added to your basket, they will add up to the Day Pass ticket price.
Entry to the 6.30pm talk is guaranteed for day pass holders.
Subject to availability.
Please bring proof of age where possible
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£3 booking fee per online transaction, £4 by phone.
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18:30, Fountain Room
Simon Broughton introduces Viktor Ullmann's Der Kaiser von Atlantis.
Free entry. Limited capacity, entry guaranteed to BBC Total Immersion Day Pass holders.
Total Immersion Day
The Barbican Hall is located within the main Barbican building. Head to Level G and follow the signs to find your seating level.
Silk Street, London
The Barbican is widely accessible by bus, tube, train and by foot or bicycle. Plan your journey and find more route information in ‘Your Visit’ or book your car parking space in advance.
Spaces for wheelchair users in row U at the rear of the stalls (up to sixteen, depth of row 180cm) and the back row of the circle (four), both with fold-down companion seats. Some seats in row S of the stalls for people with very limited mobility.
Assistance dogs may be taken into the concert hall where there are a limited number of suitable seats in row G of the stalls. If you prefer, you may leave your dog with a member of the cloakroom staff during the performance.
There is an induction loop in the concert hall. You can use this by adjusting your hearing aid to the ‘T’ setting.