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Transatlantic (opera)

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Transatlantic (opera)

Transatlantic (aka The People's Choice) is a Grand Opera in 4 acts by George Antheil written in 1928 to a libretto by the composer. It was premiered in Frankfurt on May 25, 1930. Though a critical success the work ran for only 6 performances and was not performed again during Antheil's lifetime.

It has been subsequently revived in 1998 (Minnesota) and 2002 (Flensburg, Germany).

The work is scored for a large orchestra with soloists and chorus.

Synopsis

The plot is a political satire in which a corrupt American oil baron (Ajax) recruits a charismatic, enthusiastic, cooperative man (Hector Jackson) to run for president. Ajax employs a seductress (Helen) to further motivate Hector but Helen falls for him. In an attempt to control this situation Ajax forces Helen to marry a gigolo (Jason). Further complications ensue when the campaign treasurer (Leo) also falls for Helen and embezzles $1 million from Ajax' funds to buy her a diamond ring. The American public becomes sufficiently enthralled with Hector to vote him into office.

References

  • George Antheil's Transatlantic: An American in the Weimar Republic by Susan C. Cook
  • The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 9, No. 4 (Autumn, 1991), pp. 498–520
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