György Ligeti

Le grand macabre


Concert performance, in German, with Hungarian surtitles

György Ligeti (1923-2006) was one of the most emblematic figures of 20th century music. This opera consisting of four scenes in two acts was based on Belgian dramatist Michel de Ghelderode's play of the same name. The world premiere was held in Stockholm in 1978, and the work was performed in Budapest for the first time 20 years later, in the Thália Theatre. “It was as if the play was tailor-made for my musical and dramatic conception,” said Ligeti of de Ghelderode's work, which featured “the apocalypse that does not really take place, Death as a hero, or who is perhaps just a small imposter, the corrupted and yet happily prosperous, drunken, whorish, imaginary world of 'Breughelland'.” The procession of jumbled and grotesque scenes evokes the atmosphere of medieval mystery plays.


Premiere: May 26, 2017

Erkel Theatre