Others in Mind is Darya von Berner’s adaptation of Victor Ullmann’s Kaiser von Atlantis (1943). It is a musical exploration of the theme of narcissism, exacerbated in the character of dictator Kaiser Überall, the main protagonist, and his journey to self-recognition and to his own death.
The beauty of Ullmann’s opera lies in the final realisation of its protagonist that he has to take the others into account and through his own death makes space for the ones to come.
Viktor Ullmann wrote Der Kaiser von Atlantis in 1943 under excruciating conditions whilst being imprisoned in the concentration camp of Theresienstadt in the Czech Republic, where he also died. He never saw the opera performed but miraculously managed to save the score. In von Berner’s adaptation, the French baritone Boris Grappe embodied the following characters: Kaiser Überall, Lautsprecher, Harlekin and Death, in a seemingly schizophrenic inner-monologue, which intends to mirror the modern, cultural individualism and its limitations.
Stage director & Artist – Darya von Berner
Baritone – Boris Grappe
Piano – Alexander Stessin
Sound design – Mario Wittig
Light design – Devon Miles
Curator – Stéphanie Delcroix
Produced by Kunstkraftwerk Leipzig