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25 June 2023 (Sun), 19:00 World famous Mariinsky Ballet and Opera Theatre - Opera and Concert Hall - Stars of the Stars Conducted by Maestro Gergiev Opera "Oedipus Rex". opera-oratorio in two acts

Running time: 1 hour (till 20:00)

Schedule for "Oedipus Rex". opera-oratorio in two acts 2022

Conductor: Maestro Valery Gergiev

Composer: Igor Stravinsky
Principal Chorus Master: Andrei Petrenko
Musical Director: Maestro Valery Gergiev
Musical Preparation: Natalia Domskaya

Orchestra: Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra
Opera company: Mariinsky (Kirov) Opera

opera-oratorio in 2 acts

opera-oratorio in two acts
Music: Igor Stravinsky
Production by Jonathan Miller (2003)

Libretto (in French) by Jean Cocteau, after the play Oedipus Tyrannus by Sophocles
Latin sections translated by Jean Danielou

Musical Director: Valery Gergiev
Stage Director: Jonathan Miller
Set Designers: Jonathan Miller and Charles Quiggin
Costume Designer: Sue Willmington
Lighting Designer: Mrs DM Wood
Principal Chorus Master: Andrei Petrenko
Musical Preparation: Natalia Domskaya

•World premiere: 30 May 1927, Theatre Sarah-Bernhardt, Paris;
•Premiere of this production: 10 April 2003, Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg

Production sponsored by Lenenergo

Running time: 1 hour
The Performance without an interval

"I considered an opera or an oratorio based on some plot that everyone knows. This way, I wanted to focus the audience’s attention not on the story but on the music itself, which would thus take on meaning, words and action," the composer recalled in his autobiographical Chronicle of My Life. Taking advice from the renowned writer and cultural figure Jean Cocteau who wrote the opera’s libretto, Stravinsky turned to the tragedy Oedipus the King by the brilliant Ancient Greek dramatist Sophocles. The plot is based on the myth about the terrible fate of Oedipus who commits patricide and marries his own mother. Enraged by this monstrous union of blood and the murder, the gods mercilessly punish the people of Thebes of whom Oedipus is now king having solved the riddle of the Sphinx. Learning the terrible truth, his wife Jocasta commits suicide and Oedipus himself leaves Thebes having put out his own eyes. For the co-creators, however, it was important "to concentrate the tragedy not on Oedipus himself and the other characters but on the fateful denouement which is where the whole meaning of the piece lies." Oedipus Rex heralded the start of a new period in Igor Stravinsky’s work which is generally known as "neoclassical."


The narrator enters and addresses the auditorium: “Spectators! You will now hear Oedipus Rex in Latin. To free your ears and your minds from any excess burden, the more so as the opera-oratorio contains only the most important scenes, I will help you to recall Sophocles’ tragedy gradually.
This is how the story unfolds: the people of Thebes are in disarray. The Sphinx has sent a plague down on the city. The chorus begs Oedipus to save the city. Oedipus, the sphinx’s conqueror, promises he will save the people from a new disaster. But he does not realise that he is ruled by forces that are normally only met with in the afterlife. These forces have been preparing a trap for him since his very birth – you will see how it snaps shut.”

Act I
Creonte, Oedipus’ brother-in-law, has returned from the oracle to which he had been sent by Oedipus to seek counsel. The oracle demands that the murder of King Laius be avenged, and then the plague will leave the city. The murderer is hidden in Thebes, and must be found whatever the price. Oedipus is proud of his ability to solve riddles. He discovers the murderer and drives his from Thebes. Oedipus ask the prophet to help and begs him to speak the truth. Teiresias avoids giving a reply. He understands that Oedipus is a toy in the hands of the merciless gods. Teiresias’ silence annoys Oedipus. He accuses Creonte of a desire to seize the throne and Teiresias of conspiracy. Enraged at such an unjust slander, the prophet makes his choice and speaks. Thus comes the discovery: the King has committed regicide.

Act II
Jocasta appears. She becomes embroiled in the conflict and shames the men for arguing when disaster has struck the city. She does not believe the oracles: oracles lie. For example, it was said that Laius would die at the hand of his own son, while in fact Laius was killed by robbers where three roads met.
A crossroads! A banality! Take heed of this word. It terrifies Oedipus. He remembers that on the road from Corinth, before he met the Sphinx, he killed an old man where three roads met. And if that were Laius? What comes now? Oedipus mustn’t remain here, yet neither can he return to Corinth as the oracle never predicted that he would kill his father and become the husband of his own mother. Oedipus is gripped by terror.
At last a witness to the murder appears – a shepherd. The Messenger informs Oedipus of the death of Polybius, whom Oedipus had considered to be his father, but now it transpires that Polybius was not Oedipus’ natural father.
Jocasta understands everything. She tries to draw Oedipus away, dissuading him from digging deeper into the mystery, but in vain. She herself then flees herself.
Oedipus thinks that she is ashamed of being the wife of a humble impostor. And this is Oedipus, always proud of his ability to solve all riddles! He is in a trap, and only he fails to see this. Suddenly a dreadful conjecture strikes him mind. He is falling. He is falling from a great height.
A disturbing monologue begins: “I saw the dead face of the divine Jocasta,” in which the Messenger tells of how the Queen has hanged herself and Oedipus blinded himself with a golden buckle. His words are taken up by the chorus.
The King has fallen into the trap. May everyone, everyone, see this lowly animal, this half-breed, this madman! He is driven away. He is driven away with unusual pity, with compassion. Farewell, farewell, poor Oedipus! Farewell, Oedipus, you were loved here

Schedule for "Oedipus Rex". opera-oratorio in two acts 2022

Yuri Vorobiov sings Tiresias aria from Oedipus Rex Stravinsky
About This Video
Yuri Vorobiov sings Tiresias aria from Oedipus Rex Stravinsky (Mariinsky concert hall - Mikhail Agrest) (Oedipus -A. Timchenko)

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