The Spirit Lives On

More than a year in the making, A Journey of the Human Spirit is a three-part collaborative work built around the regional debut of Viktor Ullmann’s opera, The Emperor of Atlantis. Written by Ullmann and librettist Peter Kien while both were imprisoned in the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1943, the piece is an absurdist take on Hitler’s reign of terror. “Theresienstadt was a ‘model’ concentration camp where the Nazis sent many of the artists and intellectuals during the Holocaust; it was where the Red Cross was taken when they wanted to see what was going on in the camps,” says Stuart Raynor, CEO of the Jewish Community Center, about the environment in which the play came to be.

The one-act opera will be performed between a program of traditional celebratory klezmer music by Hal Aqua and the Lost Tribe and a presentation of From Darkness to Light, a brand-new work by Ballet Nouveau Colorado. The idea for the multi-dimensional, three-part production was born of a conversation between Raynor and Colorado Public Radio’s Monika Vischer and a desire to present the voices of the Holocaust in various states of being.

The resulting Journey is a massive historical and artistic collaboration of Ballet Nouveau Colorado, the Central City Opera, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, the Jewish Community Center and Newman Center Presents. It runs tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, 2344 East Iliff Avenue. Tickets are $26 to $78; for more information, call 303-871-7715 or visit
Wed., Jan. 16, 7:30 p.m.; Thu., Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m., 2013