Rattle will be joined by the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the latter directed by Simon Halsey. The eight-strong cast promises to be stellar. Among others, bass-baritone Pavlo Hunka will share the stage with tenor Peter Hoare, mezzo Ronnita Miller and countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo.
Based on Michel de Ghelderode’s 1934 play, Le Grand Macabre takes audiences into a hellish world of grotesques and madness inspired by Brueghal’s paintings. It centres around the diabolic prince Nekrotzar and his plans to cause the apocalypse. With only drunks and bawds standing in his way, how can he possibly fail?
Ligeti’s only opera is a bundle of contradictions that nevertheless cohere to create an entirely coherent world. As the plot hurdles from operatic grace to complete pandemonium, the music follows, alternating lyricism with burlesque. At this relatively advanced point in his career, Ligeti developed a spritely and eclectic style that encompasses sounds previously unheard of in the classical realm – the opera even opens with a choir of car horns. But don’t let this put you off – Le Grand Macabre’s sense of fun makes it accessible for even opera sceptics. And in the proven hands of Rattle and Sellars, it is likely to be spectacular.
Tickets for the Barbican Centre’s 2016-17 season open to the general public at 10am on 10 Feb. Members booking opens at the same time on 3 Feb, while Members Plus can purchase from 1 Feb.
|What||Le Grand Macabre, Barbican Centre|
|Where||Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
14 Jan 17 – 15 Jan 17, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Barbican website|