Wiener Konzerthaus

Kublai Khan

Photo of the entrance to Halls F and G in the MuseumsQuartier
© WienTourismus/Paul Bauer
Photo of the entrance to Halls F and G in the MuseumsQuartier

Dramma eroicomico in two acts
Libretto by Giovanni Battista Casti

Premiere of the original Italian version: April 5, 2024

Les Talens Lyriques
Arnold Schoenberg Chor
Conductor: Christophe Rousset
Director: Martin G. Berger

Kublai, ruler of the Tartars, has a whole host of problems on his plate: his court officials are plotting against him, his own son is such a dimwit that the princess of the neighbouring country refuses to marry him, and to cap it all a couple of Italian adventurers are interfering with his country’s traditions. Although the comic opera Cublai, gran kan de’ Tartari by Giambattista Casti with music by Antonio Salieri is apparently set in Cathay, the situation it portrays is actually that of European royal courts, especially the court of the Russian tsar. The central question raised by the authors, in the true spirit of the Enlightenment in Europe, is how those in power deal with the responsibility they have for their lands. But because Russia was an ally of the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, the monarch cancelled the premiere following the outbreak of the Austro-Turkish War in 1787. As a result, one of the most unusual operas of the 18th century, which draws on the comedy of the commedia dell’arte and whose biting satire almost equals that of Jacques Offenbach’s works, was forgotten for over 200 years. Conductor Christophe Rousset, a champion of Antonio Salieri’s music for many years, now takes on responsibility for the belated premiere of the original Italian version of Cublai, gran kan de’ Tartari.


MusikTheater an der Wien in the MuseumsQuartier Halle E

Museumsplatz 1
1070 Wien

Current Dates

  • Fri. 05 Apr 2024, 7 p.m.
  • Sun. 07 Apr 2024, 7 p.m.
  • Tue. 09 Apr 2024, 7 p.m.
  • Thu. 11 Apr 2024, 7 p.m.
  • Sat. 13 Apr 2024, 7 p.m.
  • Mon. 15 Apr 2024, 7 p.m.