On July 20th, 1944 a bomb went off in Hitler’s military conference room, wounding him and killing four others. It was the culmination of a series of failed attempts on Hitler’s life.
Our opera concentrates on the most interesting of the July 20th conspirators, Adam von Trott. On the surface he was a person of many contradicitions – a nationalistic internationalist, a libertarian socialist, a passionate anti-Nazi patriot, an aristocratic populist: at a deeper level, he embodied the hopes of a future world in which the activities of peoples and individuals would be restrained within a rule of law.
Hitler’s murderous regime, enabled by millions of party members willing to inform on discontented individuals (leading to the probable murder of the discontented one) made things difficult for opposition groups. One by one, whole organisations were rounded up for imprisonment and/or murder: communists, socialists, freemasons and Christian activists: this paved the way for mass racial and social exterminations of Gipsies, Jews and other so-called ‘genetic undesirables’.
Our opera ‘July 20th 1944’ is an attempt to encompass the story of Adam von Trott and his times, seeking to place the story in its wider human setting and in its relevance for today.
A scene from the opera – ‘The Last Farewell’ – was performed in the CLF Arts Cafe, Bussey Building, Peckham Rye, London on 23rd and 24th January, 2015. The scene is a final meeting of friends and conspirators before the attempt on Hitler’s life. (CAST: Inge – Isolde Roxby; Rosa – Fiona Hymns; Helmut – James Way; Adam von Trott – Alexander Jones; Kaspar – Mat Palmer.)