Le Grand Macabre

György Ligeti
The State Opera
Modern adaptation
Contemporary Theatre

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    June 2021

    Thursday 17. 6.

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    Basic information


    The State Opera


    In German


    Premiere performances: 17 and 19 June 2021 at the State Opera

    György Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre will receive its Czech premiere. The one and only opera written by the Hungarian-Austrian composer, one of the major representatives 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.


    Stage direction and set design
    Nigel Lowery


    Loosely based on the Belgian avant-garde 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 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 had its world premiere in Stockholm in 1978. Later on, Ligeti made considerable revisions to the opera in preparation for a production at the Salzburger Festspiele in 1997.

    Practical information

    Where to buy tickets

    When purchasing online, we will send you an E-ticket by e-mail. You can pick up printed tickets in person at any of our box offices.

    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.

    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!