An opera which premiered in Munich recently tells of the race for the South Pole in a deathly competition between explorers.
Viewers of “South Pole” might have expected a different grand finale, perhaps where British explorer Robert F. Scott and his competitor, the Norwegian Roald Amundsen, discard their tarpaulin and seal skins to reveal them as refugees in the hostile 21st century.
It doesn’t happen that way.
By the end of the piece, Scott is still who he probably was, a self-tortured psychopath who loses the race to the South Pole.
Ultimately he freezes to death while Amundsen has long ago returned home as victor and hero.
The opera, by Czech composer Miroslav Srnka, tells of the race in 1911 to reach the South Pole. It pitted Roald Amundsen’s Norwegian team against Robert Scott’s British expedition. Amundsen won by 33 days while Scott died on his way to base.