George Enescu
Tragédie lyrique in four acts and six scenes [1936]
Poetry by Edmond Fleg after Sophocles

A unique piece of 20th century music theatre can be seen in Berlin for the first time in over 20 years, staged by the up-and-coming Russian director Evgeny Titov, who caused a sensation at the 2019 Salzburg Festival with his production of Gorky's Summer Guests. The title role is played by the British baritone Leigh Melrose, hailed as one of the new experts in 20th century opera.

Inescapable Prophecy: Abandoned by his parents on account of a terrible prophesy and raised without knowing his true origins by foster parents, Oedipus resists with all his strength his seemingly inescapable fate, yet can't help but fulfill that very destiny. As foretold by the oracle, he unwittingly kills his father, and sleeps with his mother. When he finally learns the terrible truth, he acts in an unexpected way: instead of rejecting his guilt, in an act of violent renunciation he blacks out the entire world, thus affirming the answer he previously threw defiantly in the face of the Sphynx’s question, »What is greater than Fate?« – »Man!«

The Romanian composer George Enescu, who studied in Paris with Jules Massenet and Gabriel Fauré, among others, worked for almost 20 years on his magnum opus. The result is a masterpiece that deserves a place among the same series as Alban Berg's Wozzeck or Claude Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, even if it has not achieved the fame of the latter. Hovering in its theatrical form between gripping drama and mystical oratorio, this fascinating composition oscillates between musical modernity with quarter-tone passages and impressionistic, yet folkloric Romanian sounds.

Poetry by Edmond Fleg after Sophocles
In the header: Leigh Melrose | Photo: Jan Windszus Photography, 3D Art: Sven Windszus
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Selected Performance:
Evgeny Titov
Stage design
Mitarbeit Bühnenbild
Charlotte Spichalsky
Costume design
Eva Dessecker
Leigh Melrose
Le grand prêtre
Vazgen Gazaryan
Le berger
Laios, father of Œdipe
Jokaste, mother of Œdipe
La Sphinge
Chorsolisten of the Komische Oper Berlin Vocalconsort Berlin and others
Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin

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