Music Against Death

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An opera composed at a Nazi concentration camp in 1943 will get its Colorado premiere tomorrow night. It’s called, The Emperor of Atlantis, and its co-creators, composer Viktor Ullmann and librettist Peter Kien, were prisoners at the Theresienstadt concentration camp in what’s now the Czech Republic. When Nazi authorities saw a rehearsal of the one-act opera, they realized it was a not-so-veiled satire of Adolph Hitler, and they later shipped Ullmann and Kein to Auschwitz, where they both were killed in the gas chamber. Remarkably, the opera itself survived the war, and it’s the centerpiece of A Journey of the Human Spirit at the University of Denver's Newman Center tomorrow and Thursday nights. Ryan Warner talks to Monika Vischer of CPR Classical and Stuart Raynor, CEO of the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center in Denver.

[Composer Viktor Ullman shown in photo]