23 MAY–8 JUNE 2016
An excellent cast including Johan Reuter, John Tomlinson, Sarah Connolly and Sophie Bevan perform The Royal Opera’s first production of Enescu’s operatic masterpiece
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.