Home » Opera and Ballet » Oedipe at the Royal Opera House – 23rd May to 8th June 2016

Oedipe at the Royal Opera House – 23rd May to 8th June 2016


The gestation period for this opera took place over 20 years, Romanian violinist, pianist, conductor and composer George Enescu (1881–1955) made his first orchestral sketches for Oedipe in 1910. His librettist, the French poet Edmond Fleg, was still making changes to the text by 1921 , whilst Enescu did finish the score of this, his only opera, until 1932.

The opera’s premiere at the Paris Opéra in 1936 was generally well received but in 1937 the opera was dropped from the repertory and was not performed again until 1955. Despite rising interest in the piece, the opera has only received sporadic performances.

Catalan theatre group La Fura dels Baus (Le Grand Macabre, ENO) first staged their production of Oedipe at La Monnaie, Brussels, in 2011. This innovative theatre company created a spectacular production on Enescu’s exploration of fate and freedom .

The story centres around Oedipe is destined to murder his father and marry his mother. His parents arrange for his murder but instead he is raised as a prince of Corinth. Discovering the prophecy, he flees Corinth – only unwittingly to kill his true father and marry his mother.

After 20 years the truth is discovered. Oedipe blinds himself and his wife/mother commits suicide. He wanders the wilderness. At a grove outside Athens he discovers his final resting place and disappears in a blaze of light.

Running times

About 3 hours, including one interval


Sung in French with English surtitles

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Royal Opera House website here

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