Most recent performance
There are currently no scheduled performances of Oedipe. It was last on stage 23 May—8 June 2016 as part of the Spring 2015/16 season.
Oedipe is destined to murder his father and marry his mother. His parents arrange for his murder but instead he is raised as a prince of Corinth. Discovering the prophecy, he flees Corinth – only unwittingly to kill his true father and marry his mother.
Read more… (Contains spoilers)
Romanian violinist, pianist, conductor and composer George Enescu (1881–1955) made his first orchestral sketches for Oedipe in 1910, after being powerfully moved by a stage performance of Sophocles’ Oedipus tyrannus. His librettist, the French poet Edmond Fleg, was still making changes to the text by 1921 – while Enescu would not finish the score of this, his only opera, until 1932. The premiere at the Paris Opéra on 13 March 1936 was well received but in 1937 the opera was dropped from the repertory, not performed again until 1955. It has since then enjoyed only sporadic performances – despite being acclaimed as one of the great masterpieces of the 20th century.
Catalan theatre group La Fura dels Baus (Le Grand Macabre, ENO) first staged their production of Oedipe at La Monnaie, Brussels, in 2011. True to form for this innovative theatre company, their spectacular take on Enescu’s exploration of fate and freedom creates an earthen world ravaged by both natural and man-made disaster. From this land of clay Enescu’s breathtaking score soars – encompassing everything from Berliozian opulence to eerie Sprechstimme – in this sole operatic statement from a great musician.
News and features
30 May 2016
The Australian soprano replaces Sophie Bevan in the role of Antigone.
27 May 2016
The stars of The Royal Opera's new production discuss the monstrous myth and what makes the music so special for singers.
24 May 2016
What did you think of Àlex Ollé and Valentina Carrasco's Royal Opera production of Enescu's masterpiece?
23 May 2016
Enescu writes spine-chilling music for Oedipus’ climactic meeting with the monstrous Sphinx.
20 May 2016
A childhood prodigy who attended the Vienna Conservatory aged just seven, the composer and his impressive works are now sadly neglected.
26 April 2016
Our quick introduction to Enescu’s only opera and his masterpiece, inspired by the Greek tragedy of Oedipus.