Composer: George Antheil
Librettist: George Antheil
Other Artistic Personnel: Minnesota Opera revival (1998):
Original Cast: Minnesota Opera revival (1998):
Sherrill Milnes (Ajax)
Karl Daymond (Hector)
Juliana Rambaldi (Helen)
With: Mark Calkins, Dennis Petersen and Jane Thorngren
Work Web Site:
Premiere Date: May 25, 1930
Producing Company: Frankfurt, Germany
Description: The work takes place in New York in the 1920s, during an election year. Hector Jackson, a popular and promising candidate for President, is increasingly controlled and manipulated by Ajax Marjon, a corrupt industrialist.

In addition to the main story of organized crime and big business trying to influence the outcome of a presidential election, the opera also portrays a love relationship, set everywhere from the deck of an ocean liner to a crazy Art Deco living room in Manhattan. The opera includes a suicide attempt on the Brooklyn Bridge, a visit to a speakeasy frequented by tuxedo-clad gangsters, and an aria sung by a soprano, Gladys, in a bathtub. The composer consciously used names associated with Greek antiquity: Helena is the wife of a crooked politician Jason, who is supported by the racketeer Ajax. Helena is in love with the good guy, presidential candidate Hector, whose victory promises to usher in a new era of peace and justice for all. Leo, Hector's unscrupulous campaign treasurer, and his girlfriend Gladys are also involved.
Character List (Major): Helen (s)
Hektor (bar)
Ajax (b)
Jason (t)
Leo (t)
Gladys (s)
Character List (Minor): 3 Agitators (t, bar, b)
Revue Dancer (t)
A girl (s)
Police Chief (bar)
Reviews: Opera News, 12-20-80, p. 32; Opera News, 9-87, p. 62; Opernwelt, 3-87, p. 25 & 29; Opera, 6-87, p. 674; Opera Canada, Summer 1987, p. 38; The New York Times, Edward Rothstein, 10-22-81.
Length: 03:00
Total Acts: 3
Orchestration: 2 flutes/piccolo, 2 oboes, 3 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 saxaphones (tenor/soprano) - 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 1 tuba - celesta, 2 pianos, 2 percussion, strings

Reduced orchestration available from:
Frank M. Johnson
2629 19th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Musical Style: Written in English with a score that uses American folk tunes, jazz melodies and harmonies, and a Salvation Army hymn, the opera's harmonic language has been described as late-romantic euphony in the style of Strauss, and reminiscent of Weill and Str
Contact: Universal Edition
E-mail Address:
Publisher Web Site:
Schedule of Performances Listings
Transatlantic (Antheil)
Saturday, April 18, 1998 - Minnesota Opera
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