The World Turned Upside Down | The Emperor of Atlantis | Wolf Trap
World Turned Upside Down

The World Turned Upside Down:Gluck
Merlin's Island
The Emperor of Atlantis


Tix start at
Doors Open
90 min before show
Inside the Opera
Free pre-show talk
Running Time
2.5 hours
The Barns
1635 Trap Road
Vienna, VA 22812
Merlin's Island: Gluck’s clever opera is a light-hearted parody that takes nothing seriously.

The Emperor of Atlantis: Death decides to teach mankind a lesson in this powerfully dramatic work.

MERLIN'S ISLAND Music by Christoph Willibald Gluck
Libretto by Louis Anseaume, based on Lesage and D'Orneval's Le monde renversé

Two Parisians are shipwrecked on an island paradise where the rich marry the poor, lawyers are always honest, spouses are always faithful, and artists are wealthier than businessmen. Heaven? Not quite. A takeoff on 18th century French vaudeville, Merlin’s Island is brimming with inspired music, beautiful ensembles, and heartwarming characters.

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THE EMPEROR OF ATLANTIS Music by Viktor Ullmann
Libretto by Peter Kien

A New Production

A mad emperor declares universal war against everyone and offends Death. The result is a chaotic world in which the living no longer laugh, the dying no longer die, and life and death have lost their meaning. This daring satire was written while Ullmann was interned in the Nazis’ Terezín ghetto and examines the arrogance of unstoppable power and humanity’s resilience. This controversial and brilliant opera is full of humor and poignancy, with music that ranges from blues and German folk tunes to a Bach chorale.

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  • Inside the Opera pre-show talk begins 1 hour before curtain at The Barns
  • Performance running time: 2.5 hours including one intermission
  • Sung in French and German with projected English translations

Merlin’s Island CAST

Merlin - Conor McDonald
Pierrot - Ben Edquist
Scapin - Daniel Noyola
Argentine - Shannon Jennings
Diamantine - Niru Liu
Hippocratine - Megan Esther Grey
Prud’homme - Wilford Kelly*
Hanif - Bradley Bickhardt*
Zerbin - Justin Burgess*

*Studio Artist

The Emperor of Atlantis CAST

Cast in Order of Vocal Appearance

Emperor Overall - Ben Edquist
Death - Anthony Robin Schneider
Harlekin - Joshua Blue
Loudspeaker - Daniel Noyola
Drummer - Megan Esther Grey
Soldier - Victor Cardamone*
Girl with the Bobbed-Hair - Shannon Jennings

*Studio Artist

CREATIVE TEAM Conductor - Geoffrey McDonald
Director - Richard Gammon
Choreographer – Elizabeth Coker
Scenic Designer - Julia Noulin-Mérat
Costume Designer - Jonathan Knipscher
Lighting Designer - Robert H. Grimes
Wig & Makeup Designer – Anne Nesmith

MUSIC AND PRODUCTION STAFF Cover Conductor – Andrew Crooks
Musical Preparation - Andrew Crooks, James Maverick
French Coach - Jocelyn Dueck
Assistant Director - kt shorb
Production Stage Manager - Madeline Levy
Assistant Stage Manager - Savannah Valigura
Supertitle Coordinator - Thomas Morris

Make-Up Provided By M•A•C

YOUNG AT ARTS TICKETS Wolf Trap's Young at Arts initiative invites families and caregivers to introduce children (17 and under) to the arts by offering one free accompanying youth ticket for each adult ticket purchased for select performances.


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