New Productions

OEDIPE
George Enescu
1881 - 1955
Lyric Tragedy
Libretto by Edmond Fleg
German translation: Henry Arnold
World premiere: March 13th 1936, Opéra Garnier, Paris
First ever performance in Frankfurt
Sung in German with German surtitles

Duration: 1 3/4 hours without interval

About the piece

The Myth of Oedipus – a king’s son who kills his father and marries his mother, the victor over the Sphinx who blinds himself when ...
The Myth of Oedipus – a king’s son who kills his father and marries his mother, the victor over the Sphinx who blinds himself when he realises what he has done, this un-crowned king of Freudian psychoanalysis fascinated Georges Enescu for most of his life. Sophocles’ play inspired this Roumanian composer and virtuoso violinist to compose the first piece on this subject when he was 27, long before an libretto had been written. Although Edmond Fleg condensed the complex myth of the hero, from birth to death, for him not long before World War I, the world premiere did not take place until 22 years later, in Paris in 1936. A prophecy fulfills itself with dreadful inevitability, fate takes its merciless course. At the core, the question of freedom of will. Edmond Fleg’s Sphinx challenges Oedipus to name something greater than fate. Oedipus’ answer is: »Man! Man is stronger than fate!« But he does not yet realise that he has already killed his father...
    A man attempts, through myth, to penetrate this unresolved question. He re-examines his life. Hans Neuenfels and his team present this seldom performed work in a condensed, new German translation, with no interval. It revolves around the central question and, consciously, ends without resolution – let alone redemption – as Enescu and Fleg make clear in the last act.

Synopsis

The birth of King Laios and Queen Jokaste's son is being celebrated in Thebes. The seer, Tiresias, interrupts the festivities and ...
The birth of King Laios and Queen Jokaste's son is being celebrated in Thebes. The seer, Tiresias, interrupts the festivities and announces Apollo's prophecy: because Laios fathered the child against the will of the gods the son will kill the father and marry his own mother. Horrified, Laios hands the baby over to a shepherd, ordering him to kill it. But the shepherd saves the child, who was given the name of Oedipus and grew up as the son of the Corinthian King Polybos and his wife Merope. In Delphi Oedipus finds out about about the fate Apollo has condemned him to. Oedipus, in despair, decides to leave Corinth and keep as far away as possible from his supposed parents. Oedipus kills a man who had threatened him at a crossroads. The shepherd, who observed the scene, realises that the dead man is King Laios. The Sphinx holds Thebes in a reign of fear and terror. Anyone unable to solve her riddle must die. The Sphinx's question is: What is stronger than fate? Oedipus challenges the Sphinx, his answer: Man. Although the Sphinx dies it is not clear whether or not she really has been defeated. Oedipus is feted as the saviour of Thebes and marries Queen Jokaste. Years later Thebes is struck down by the plague, the gods' help is sought. Kreon, Jokaste's brother, brings news from the Oracle at Delphi: the plague will not abate while Laios' unidentified murderer lives in the city. The truth gradually emerges, and Oedipus realises that the prophesy has been fulfilled. Jokaste commits suicide and Oedipus gouges out his eyes. His daughter Antigone leads him out of the city.


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Performances

Wednesday 18.12.2013 19:30 h

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Cast

Conductor
Alexander Liebreich
Director
Hans Neuenfels
Set Designer
Rifail Ajdarpasic
Costume Designer
Elina Schnizler
Lighting Designer
Olaf Winter
Dramaturge
Henry Arnold
Chorus Master
Matthias Köhler

Ödipus
Simon Neal
Tiresias
Magnús Baldvinsson
Kreon
Dietrich Volle
Der Hirte
Michael McCown
Der Hohepriester
Vuyani Mlinde
Phorbas
Kihwan Sim
Der Wächter
Andreas Bauer
Laios
Hans-Jürgen Lazar
Jokaste
Tanja Ariane Baumgartner
Die Sphinx
Katharina Magiera
Antigone
Britta Stallmeister
Merope
Jenny Carlstedt

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