In 1909, after attending a performance of Œdipus Rex at the Comédie-Française, George Enescu hastened to transcribe the first bars of his one and only opera. Sophocles’ play had the effect of an electroshock on the Romanian composer, spurring him to begin work on his score before he even had a libretto. The completed work would ultimately have its world premiere at the Paris Opera in 1936.
The influences of his teacher Fauré, of Stravinsky, Debussy and Romania’s ancestral musical traditions all fuelled an orchestral and vocal composition of unparalleled originality. Surprisingly, despite receiving a rapturous reception, the work was rarely staged at opera houses during the 20th century.
For his Paris Opera debut, Wajdi Mouawad evokes the life of Œdipus – the man unaware of his own identity – in a continuum of organic, vegetal, ethereal and aquatic images.
The Paris Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine / Choeur d’enfants de l’Opéra national de Paris
With the support of the CNC and the Orange Foundation, sponsor of the Paris Opera's audiovisual broadcasts.
Director: François Roussillon
Picture: © Elisa Haberer / OnP
- Œdipus: Son of Laius and Jocasta
- Laius: King of Thebes
- Jocasta: Queen of Thebes, mother and wife of Œdipus
- Creon: Brother of Jocasta
- Tiresias: A soothsayer
- Merope: Œdipus’ adoptive mother, Queen of Corinth
- Phorbas: Shepherd in the service of Polybus and Merope, rulers of Corinth
- The Shepherd: Commanded by Laius to kill the newborn Œdipus
- Antigone: Daughter of Œdipus and Jocasta
- Theseus: King of Athens
- The Sphinx
- The High Priest
- The Night Watchman