Most recent performance
There are currently no scheduled performances of Moses und Aron. It was last on stage 25–26 July 2014 as part of the Summer 2013/14 season.
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.
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.
News and features
25 July 2014
Schoenberg saw the possibilities of serialism and his views of God as intrinsically linked.
25 July 2014
Schoenberg's Moses und Aron is just the tip of the iceberg, with the prophet referenced in pop songs, epic films and... Superman!?
24 July 2014
Moses und Aron was the last – and greatest – of four forays the Austrian made into the art form.
23 July 2014
Our guide to an essential modernist masterpiece.
22 July 2014
Schonberg's Moses und Aron may seem daunting, but dip a toe in the water and you might be pleasantly surprised.
26 February 2014
The British bass gives a masterclass on the nuances of the human voice.
Moses und Aron (English: Moses and Aaron) is a three-act opera by Arnold Schoenberg with the third act unfinished. The German libretto is by the composer after the Book of Exodus. Hungarian composer Zoltán Kocsis completed the last act, with Schoenberg's heirs' permission, in 2010, but as of 2014 Moses und Aron was almost always performed as Schoenberg left it in 1932, with only two of the planned three acts completed.