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Le Grand Macabre

György Ligeti

Premiere performances: 14 and 16 June 2024 at the State Opera

The State Opera
Premiere production
English surtitles
German surtitles

Choose date

    June 2024

    Friday 14. 6.

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    Premiere production

    Basic information


    The State Opera


    In English, surtitles in Czech, English


    June 14, 2024

    Opera Le Grand Macabre presents an extremely bizarre apocalyptic vision of a world gone mad.


    • 2023-2024


    Stage director, Sets and Costumes
    Nigel Lowery
    Chorus master
    Adolf Melichar
    Ondřej Hučín


    State Opera Chorus
    State Opera Orchestra
    National Theatre Opera Ballet

    György Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre will be staged in Czech premiere. The one and only opera written by the Hungarian-Austrian composer, a major representative of the 20th-century avant-garde, is a truly remarkable work, one that in many a respect surpasses that which is commonly expected from a piece of this genre. Loosely based on the Belgian dramatist Michel de Ghelderode’s play La balade du grand macabre, Ligeti provocatively branded it “anti-anti-opera”. Le Grand Macabre presents an extremely bizarre apocalyptic vision of a world gone mad, teeming with characters of such telling names as Nekrotzar, Piet The Pot, Clitoria, Spermando … Ligeti’s spectacular operatic fresco, set in a fictitious city bearing an equally telling name, Breughelland, not only shocks by featuring harsh, spine-chilling and perverse images, it is also striking in terms of the score, with the musical idiom encompassing conventional instruments, but also giving scope to a large variety of entirely unprecedented sounds, produced by car-horns, electric doorbells, a sledgehammer, an alarm clock, paper bags, a tray full of crockery, a saucepan, a pistol and other items.

    Le Grand Macabre received its world premiere in Stockholm in 1978. Later on, Ligeti made considerable revisions to the opera for a production at the Salzburger Festspiele in 1997.



    Practical information

    Where to buy tickets

    The National Theatre sells tickets up to 6 months in advance. On 1 September at 9am we selling tickets for performances of Drama, Ballet, Opera and Laterna magika until the end of February 2024.

    When purchasing online, you can get an e-ticket. You can pick up printed tickets in person at the box offices of the National Theatre.

    What to wear?

    By their appearance, attire and behaviour, the audience is obliged to adhere to the accustomed practice expected from them when attending a theatre performance.

    Parking at the State opera

    While visiting the State Opera, you can take the slip road on Wilsonova street from the left lane close to the State Opera building to the Parking Centrum above-ground garage. The parking fee is 40 CZK/h.

    Buffets at the State Opera

    No waiting. For your benefit, please pre-order your food and beverages at the bar to minimize waiting in the queue!

    Menu (PDF, 60 kB)