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 oracle 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 blinds himself. Yet even by this violent act of self-punishment he can't escape destiny. Realizing that the lifelong struggle against his own destiny is part of his life as human being Oedipus finally finds peace.
The Romanian composer George Enescu, who studied in Paris with Jules Massenet and Gabriel Fauré, worked for over 25 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.
In the header: Leigh Melrose | Photo: Jan Windszus Photography, 3D Art: Sven Windszus