OPERA MAKES PITCH FOR FUNDING
LOST and Found Opera Incorporated co-founder Chris van Tuinen admits to having been bored at the opera.
That is why the experienced conductor goes to great lengths to source interesting material for productions at the Victoria Park-based company.
His last production The Emperor of Atlantis, or Der Kaiser von Atlantis, was written by Jewish men Viktor Ullmann and Peter Kien while interned in the Nazi concentration camp of Theresienstadt, otherwise known as Terezin, in 1943.
The opera is about a dictator who wants to wage war on the universe, yet no one takes him seriously. The Nazis banned it due to its satirical portrayal of Adolf Hitler.
The writers were reflecting on their own situation among the 160,000 in Terezin, where only 10,000 survived, said van Tuinen.
“Tragically the two men were sent to Auschwitz, where they were executed in 1944,” he said. “The manuscript was handed down to survivors of the Holocaust and was first performed in the Netherlands in 1975.”
The State Government provided van Tuinen with a $31,000 grant to produce the opera, which debuted in June last year at the Perth Hebrew Congregation Synagogue in Menora. The performance attracted more than 700 people, including members of Perth’s Jewish community, and children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors.
“It doesn’t fit into the modern opera category of operas, so it took the audience into interesting spaces,” van Tuinen said.
The production included a full orchestra and a choir of 13. ABC Radio’s Classic FM was on hand to record the opera.
Lost and Found Opera Incorporated has also shared in recent grants from the Department of Culture and Arts. A $43,440 grant would be used to stage the company’s next “lost opera”, Medea by Darius and Madeleien Milhaund.
Tickets go on sale in coming weeks, visit www.lostandfound opera.com.
Lost and Found Opera Incorporated co-founder Chris van Tuinen has received a grant to stage his next production.