Oberes Belvedere

Le Grand Macabre

Wiener Staatsoper
© WienTourismus / Christian Stemper
Wiener Staatsoper

Opera in two acts
Libretto: Michael Meschke & György Ligeti
after La Balade du Grand Macabre by Michel de Ghelderode

Musical direction: Pablo Heras-Casado
Production, choreography & stage: Jan Lauwers

Premiere: November 11, 2023

Prophesied armageddons generally disappoint. In his only opera, Le Grand Macabre, György Ligeti created a large, discursive world theatre in which the plain, unvarnished human condition with all its drives and weaknesses is the cause of nothing less than an impending apocalypse. Into an imaginary, corrupt land of milk and honey – Breughelland, a vision of gluttony, drunkenness and lechery – Death arrives one day, otherwise known as Nekrotzar or the demonic Grand Macabre, to announce the impending destruction of the world and frivolous humanity. However, seduced by the pleasures of life, which he is unfamiliar with, the only person to die at the end is Nekrotzar himself. Everyone else draws the conclusion that their temporary survival should be used to continue their previous lifestyle.

Current Dates

  • Sat. 11 Nov 2023
  • Tue. 14 Nov 2023
  • Fri. 17 Nov 2023
  • Sun. 19 Nov 2023
  • Thu. 23 Nov 2023