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Introduction

Moses is charged to become God's prophet. When he pleads his lack of eloquence, he is instructed that his brother Aron shall speak on his behalf. But Aron's words and images corrupt Moses's thoughts, to his anguish and despair.

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Background

Arnold Schoenberg began gathering ideas for Moses und Aron, his consummate masterpiece, as early as 1922. Towards the end of his life he completed Acts I and II, to his own libretto – but he realized he would not live long enough to write the music for Act III. The orgiastic Der Tanz um das goldene Kalb (The Dance Round the Golden Calf) was given in concert in Darmstadt just 11 days before Schoenberg's death. Schoenberg, living in the USA, was told by telegram of its tremendous success – the audience had demanded an immediate encore.

Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito direct this new production for Welsh National Opera, the first project in a three-year partnership between WNO and the Royal Opera House. With designer Anna Viebrock they amplify the contemporary resonances of Schoenberg's profound retelling of the Biblical story. Through music of unimaginable power Schoenberg presents a deeply insightful study of the tragedy of inarticulacy, the dangers of eloquence and the impossibility of faith.