The opera is based on the libretto by the distinguished writers Hans-Magnus Enzensberger and Irene Dische. Inspired by Mozart’s Entführung aus dem Serail and Ryszard Kapuscinski’s The Emperor, they created a satirical story of the collapse of a thoroughly corrupt court. It shows how absurd an autocrat can get in the setting of ludicrous ceremonies and bizarre rules of precedence.
Sallinen’s music is like a kaleidoscope: rich, multi-coloured and many faceted. It is instantly appreciable and approachable. The production by Kalle Holmberg earned thunderous ovations from audience and critics alike.