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Le Grand Macabre by György LigetiConcert performance

This listing is in the past
Concertgebouw: Main HallConcertgebouwplein 10, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1071 LN, Netherlands
Dates/times in Amsterdam time zone
James GaffiganConductor
Martin WinklerBaritoneNekrozar
Sofia FominaSopranoAmanda
Marta Fontanals-SimmonsMezzo-sopranoAmando
Peter HoareTenorPiet the Pot
Seth CaricoBass-baritoneAstradamors
Heidi MeltonSopranoMescalina
Aryeh Nussbaum CohenCountertenorPrince Go-Go
Sara HershkowitzSopranoChief of the Gepopo, Venus
Paul CurieviciTenorWhite-Party Minister
Tim KuypersBassBlack-Party Minister
Radio Filharmonisch Orkest
Netherlands Radio Choir (Groot Omroepkoor)

James Gaffigan conducts the only opera written by the contrary avant-garde György Ligeti. Poignant theatre, from the bizarre to the sensual.

Remarkably topical opera
In these times of pandemics, ecological catastrophes, bloody civil wars and political instability, it is hard to think of a more suitable opera than Le Grand Macabre by Hungarian György Ligeti, a work that was completed in 1977 and revised in 1996. The contrary avant-garde composer based his story on the absurdist play La balade du Grand Macabre by the French-speaking Fleming Michel De Ghelderode. In bizarre scenes, we follow the drunkard Piet the Pot in his many encounters with carnal love and the naked political power struggle.

Ligeti: the top of the twentieth century
Ligeti translated the Jeroen-Bosch-like colourfulness of the story into grotesque pastiches full of exaggerated vocal styles, which persiflate the past vocal centuries. Yet he ultimately manages to grab you by the throat with a wonderfully sensual duet between soprano and mezzo-soprano, with the virtuoso countertenor role of Prince Go-Go, and even with the great macabre Death himself, embodied in the bass-baritone Nekrotzar. The post-apocalyptic landscape that Ligeti paints with strings and harmonicas at the end makes it clear that he is one of the most important composers of the twentieth century.

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