Oedipus rex
Composer: Igor F Stravinsky
Composer Bio: Russian-born composer Igor Stravinsky is widely considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century. Noted for his stylistic diversity, Stravinsky is known for his revolutionary rhythmic styling and orchestration while paying tribute to masters such as J.S. Bach and Tchaikowsky. Born in Russia and a naturalized citizen of France and the United States, he wrote two operas after emigrating to America.

A complex and dark man, Stravinsky wrote of his childhood in his autobiography, “I never came across anyone who had any real affection for me.” Studying piano and composition from an early age he had his first taste of the orchestra at the age of eight when he saw Tchaikowsky’s ballet The Sleeping Beauty at the Mariinsky Theatre. Though his father was a bass singer he encouraged the young Igor to study law instead of music, a fate from which he was spared with the timely arrival of Bloody Sunday and his university’s consequent closure. Instead of entering the Petersburg Conservatoire he began twice weekly composition lessons with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. He traveled the world to collaborate with many esteemed artists in varied fields, settling in Switzerland, France, and Los Angeles.

Though most commonly recognized for his ballets, Stravinsky possessed a passionate curiosity for all types of music, art, and literature. Successful throughout his career and in equal measures known for his pendulous pride and modesty, Stravinsky wrote in similarly polar genres incorporating Russian folk songs, neoclassicalism, and twelve-tone techniques. He moved to New York City in 1969 where he died at the age of 88. He was buried in Venice.
Librettist: Jean Cocteau
Original Cast: Stepan Belina-Skupierwski (Oedipus)
Helene de Sadowen (Jocasta)
Georges Lanskoy (Creon)
Kapiton Zaporojetz (Tiresius)
Pierre Brasseur (Narrator)
Premiere Date: May 30, 1927
Producing Company: Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt in Paris
Description: Oedipus rex is the dramatic tale of Oedipus, king of Thebes and conqueror of the Sphinx, who promises to save his city from plague. The king’s brother-in-law returns from the oracle at Delphi to announce that Thebes is harboring murderer of the previous king, Laius. With anguish Oedipus discovers that he was the accidental killer of his father and has wed his own mother. When his wife hangs herself, Oedipus goes to her chamber and blinds himself with her pin before fleeing. The city mourns the loss of their beloved king.
Character List (Major): Oedipus (t)
Jocasta (mez s)
Creon (b)
Tiresius (b)
Character List (Minor): Shepherd (t)
Messenger (b)
Narrator (speaking role)
Length: 00:58
Total Acts: 2
Chorus: Men's Chorus
Orchestration: 3 flt (3rd doubling picc), 2 ob, en hn, 3 cl in B-flat and A (3rd doubling E-flat), 2 bsn, contra bsn, 4 horns in F, 4 tpt in C, 3 tromb, tuba, timp, tambourine, "military" sn drm, b drum, cym, piano, harp and strings
Musical Style: Written at the beginning of Stravinsky's neo-classical period
Contact: Boosey and Hawkes
Address: 229 W 28th Street, Floor 11
New York, NY 10001
E-mail Address: composers.us@boosey.com
Phone: 212-358-5300
Publisher Web Site: http://www.boosey.com
Schedule of Performances Listings
Oedipus rex (Stravinsky)
Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - Juilliard Opera Center
Oedipus rex (Stravinsky)
Saturday, October 4, 2003 - Metropolitan Opera
Oedipus rex (Stravinsky)
Friday, September 27, 2002 - Canadian Opera Company
Oedipus rex (Stravinsky)
Saturday, September 27, 1997 - Canadian Opera Company
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