Through Shostakovich’s 9th Symphony and Krenek’s one-act opera ‘the Dictator’, we explore the relationship between music and political power.
  • Date 29 January 2022 - 7.30 p.m. - 29 January 2022 - 9.00 p.m.
  • Location Auditorium, Garden Quad

In this programme, the Oxford Alternative Orchestra invites the audience into a musical meditation on the nature of power, music, and dictatorship. The first half of the programme features Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9 – a staunch statement he made about the nature of governmental control over music in the Soviet Union during the time of Stalin.

The second half of the programme features a fully staged, 35-minute opera: Ernst Krenek’s ‘The Dictator’. Written in 1928, the title character is loosely based on the historical Benito Mussolini. This opera in two scenes invites speculation on how power corrupts not just politics, but the personal life and loves of the dictator.

Music director: Hannah von Wiehler

Director: Jonny Danciger


The Dictator: John Ieuan Jones

Maria: Holly Teague

Charlotte: Charlotte Pawley

The Officer: William Anderson

The Oxford Alternative Orchestra is supported by St John's College.

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