23 Jul 2017

ENESCU: Oedipe

From Opera On Sunday, 6:00 pm on 23 July 2017

Sunday 23 July at 6.00pm on RNZ Concert

ENESCU: Oedipe

Opera in four acts, based on the Greek mythological tale of Oedipus

Oedipe at Royal Opera House Covent Garden

Oedipe at Royal Opera House Covent Garden - standing ovation May 2016 Photo: CC by SA 4.0

Oedipe’s parents’ happiness at his birth is destroyed when the prophet Tirésias announces that the child will kill his father Laïos and marry his mother Jocaste. Oedipe is sent away to be killed. However, a shepherd rescues him and he is reared in ignorance of his origins by King Polybos and Queen Mérope of Corinth, as their son. Twenty years later, Oedipe learns of the prophecy. His ensuing actions bring about rather than prevent its fulfillment.

Oedipe......................... Johan Reuter

Tirésias......................... John Tomlinson

Antigone...................... Sophie Bevan

Mérope......................... Claudia Huckle

Jocaste ........................ Sarah Connolly

The Sphinx................... Marie-Nicole Lemieux

Shepherd...................... Alan Oke

High Priest................... Nicolas Courjal

Laïos............................ Hubert Francis

Créon........................... Samuel Youn

Phorbas........................ In-Sung Sim

The Watcher................ Stefan Kocan

Thésée.......................... Samuel Dale Johnson

Chorus and Orchestra of Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Leo Hussain (EBU)

The composer:

Romanian violinist, pianist, conductor and composer George Enescu (1881–1955) made his first orchestral sketches for Oedipe in 1910, after being powerfully moved by a stage performance of Sophocles’ Oedipus tyrannus. His librettist, the French poet Edmond Fleg, was still making changes to the text by 1921 – while Enescu would not finish the score of this, his only opera, until 1932. The premiere at the Paris Opéra on 13 March 1936 was well received but in 1937 the opera was dropped from the repertory, not performed again until 1955. It has since then enjoyed only sporadic performances – despite being acclaimed as one of the great masterpieces of the 20th century.

The Performers:

 

 

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