Music: Firm’s 2012 Concert opens Elder Hall’s recital mode – July 30 – Preview

The Firm will present their most ambitious concert program for 2012 entitled The Emperor of Atlantis on Monday 30 July at 8.00pm becoming the first group to perform in the new 215 seat ‘recital hall mode’ at Elder Hall, North Terrace Adelaide.

The concert will feature Czech composer Leoš Janáček’s complete song cycle The Diary of One Who Disappeared (1920) and selections from the anti-fascist operatic masterpiece written in the Theresienstadt concentration camp by Viktor Ullmann: The Emperor of Atlantis.

Featured performers for this Firm special event are  tenor Robert Macfarlane, pianist Leigh Harrold and a quartet of fine female voices; Sally-Anne Russell, Emma Horwood, Kate Macfarlane, and Ali Stubberfield.

Firm spokesman Raymond Chapman-Smith said, ‘We expect that Elder Hall’s new recital mode will really enhance the performance and add to the audience’s appreciation of our 2012 centrepiece concert, which commemorates the music of composers interned in the Theresienstadt camp under the Nazi regime.

The Emperor of Atlantis or Death’s Refusal is a one-act opera by Viktor Ullmann with a libretto by Peter Kien. Both Ullmann and Kien were inmates at the Nazi concentration camp of Theresienstadt (Terezín), where they collaborated on the opera, around 1943. While the opera received a rehearsal at Theresienstadt in March 1944, it was never performed there, as the Nazi authorities saw in the depiction of Kaiser Overall a satire on Adolf Hitler and banned the opera. Both the composer and the librettist died in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Leoš Janáček’s The Diary of One Who Disappeared is a song cycle for tenor, alto, three female voices and piano.

On May 14th, 1916, Janacek’s local newspaper published an anonymous cycle of poems entitled ‘From the Pen of a Self-taught Writer’. This ‘diary in poems’ depicts the story of a village boy who had fallen in love with the young gipsy girl Zefka, and who had decided to leave his family and village with her. The verses made a deep impression on Leoš Janáček, and he decided to rework the poems into the song cycle. He created a work in twenty-two parts, accompanied also with scenic demands. The cycle was composed during August 1917 and June 1919, the last modifications Janáček finished in December 1920.

Regarded as one of Australia’s finest concert halls Elder Hall has created greater flexibility for performances by introducing specially designed and built wooden screens. Funded by an anonymous donor, these  7’ screens will create extraordinary versatility for the Hall by, in effect, creating another hall.

Single tickets for The Emperor of Atlantis are $15 ($8 concession) and may be purchased at or at the door

All secondary and tertiary music students receive complimentary season tickets, available at the door. Concert patrons receive complimentary programs and post concerts drinks and may sample authentic European tortes by Gabriele.

The Firm is an Adelaide-based organisation that promotes the performance of new solo and chamber works, particularly those of South Australian composers. It also provides a performance platform for some of Australia’s finest young musicians. The Firm also presents special events and tours internationally.

Check out the The Firm’s website Here

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