Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre


I'm very excited to share with all of you that I'm going to conduct the Czech premiere of Ligeti's opera Le Grand Macabre at the State Opera in Prague next June!

György Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre will receive its Czech premiere. The one and only opera written by the Hungarian-Austrian composer, one of the major representatives of the 20th-century avant-garde, is a truly remarkable work, one that in many a respect surpasses that which is commonly expected from a piece of this genre.


Stage director, Sets and Costumes - Nigel Lowery

Lighting design - Lothar Baumgarte

Video design - Thilo Heins

Chorus master - Adolf Melichar

Dramaturgy - Ondřej Hučín

Piet the Pot - Alexander Kravets

Amando - Arnheiður Eiríksdóttir

Amanda - Tereza Štěpánková

Nekrotzar - Nathan Berg

Astradamors - Miloš Horák

Mescalina - Andrea Tögel Kalivodová

Venus - Eir Inderhaug

Princ Go-Go - Hagen Matzeit

The White Minister - Josef Moravec

The Black Minister - Jiří Hájek

Ruffiack - Michael Skalický, Libor Novák

Schobiack - Andrej Styrkul, Dalibor Pavelka

Schabernack - Pavel Borek, Tomáš Bartůněk

Loosely based on the Belgian avant-garde dramatist Michel de Ghelderode’s play La balade du grand macabre, Ligeti provocatively branded it “anti-anti-opera”. Le GrandMacabre presents an extremely bizarre apocalyptic vision of a world gone mad, teeming with characters of such telling names as Nekrotzar, Piet The Pot, Clitoria, Spermando …

Ligeti’s spectacular operatic fresco, set in a fictitious city bearing an equally telling name, Breughelland, not only shocks by featuring harsh, spine-chilling and perverse images, it is also striking in terms of the score, with the musical idiom encompassing conventional instruments, but also giving scope to a large variety of unprecedented sounds, produced by car-horns, electric doorbells, a sledgehammer, an alarm clock, paper bags, a tray full of crockery, a saucepan, a pistol and other items.

Le Grand Macabre had its world premiere in Stockholm in 1978. Later on, Ligeti made considerable revisions to the opera in preparation for a production at the Salzburger Festspiele in 1997.

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