Le Grand Macabre is György Ligeti’s only opera and is based on the theater piece La Balade du Grand Macabre by Belgian author Michel de Ghelderode. Ligeti wrote the libretto with Michael Meschke setting the work in the near-apocalyptic Breughelland (a reference to Dutch painter Pieter Breughel). Although the opera has become popular in Europe, it took 26 years before it had its successful premiere in the United States at the San Francisco Opera. That 2004 performance starred Willard White as Nekrozar and barihunk Joshua Bloom as the Black Politician. The New York Philharmonic performed the piece with Eric Owens as Nekrozarin 2010.
|Martin Achrainer in Marriage of Figaro|
The music is a collage of sonorities with references to Beethoven’s “Eroica,” ragtime, industrial noises, jazz, and Viennese waltzes.
The next production of the opera will be at the Komische Oper in April 2013.
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