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LAO Podcast / Stravinsky’s Oedipus

May 15, 2021

2021 Podcast LA Opera Oedipus Rex 530x530 w label

In this Behind the Curtain conversation, musicologist Dr. Kristi Brown Montesano and Dr. Arianne Helou, a dramaturg and French studies scholar, discuss “Oedipus Rex,” composed by Igor Stravinsky to a libretto by Jean Cocteau based on the ancient Greek tragedy of the same name by Sophocles. The 1927 opera is a highly stylized, ritualistic work set in the time of plague.

On Sunday, June 6, 2021, LA Opera presented “Oedipus Rex” at in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. With a limited audience and safety protocols observed, it was LA Opera’s first public, indoor performance since March 2020. Music Director James Conlon conducted a stellar cast led by tenor Russell Thomas, LA Opera’s Artist in Residence, as Oedipus, the doomed king. Mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges returned as Jocasta, his queen (and mother). Legendary actor Stephen Fry will make his LA Opera debut (via audio recording) as the Narrator in this equally-legendary tale.

A special online version of “Oedipus Rex” was released on June 17, 2021 for home viewing. (Note: LA Opera performance is longer available for viewing.)