Most everyone’s watching election results roll in tonight – but at the Atlanta Opera, the show goes on.
The current performance is “Silent Night,” a serendipitously scheduled bit of programming. It concerns a real and rare story of how political adversaries put their differences aside for history’s most famous soccer game, known as the Christmas Truce.
The friendly game was an act of humanity that emerged from one of history’s bleakest chapters. Just before Christmas 1914, at the close of World War I’s first year and after months of unexpectedly brutal fighting, British and German soldiers faced each other in opposite trenches across the bombed out, barbed-wired and corpse-strewn “no-man’s land.”
German troops began singing “Silent Night” (“Stille Nacht.”) British soldiers responded. Brave men on both sides scaled the trenches and ventured into no-man’s land. Soon, thousands of British and German enemies were greeting each other, exchanging cigarettes, coffee, and posing for photos. (Yep, vintage wartime selfies!)
Their bosses on both sides reprimanded the soldiers for their act of peace on earth and goodwill toward their fellow man, and soon enough, everyone was fighting again.
Anyway, here are some images from the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, where tonight’s performance is happening:
The Atlanta Opera encouraged patrons to vote first, of course: