Œdipus Rex / Symphonie de Psaumes

Igor Stravinsky (1882 - 1971)

Revised production for the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in co-production with the Philharmonia Orchestra, based on a production by the Los Angeles Philharmonic


Œdipus Rex, opera-oratorio after Sophocles,
libretto by Jean Cocteau translated into Latin
by Cardinal Jean Daniélou, adapted by Peter Sellars
First performed on 30 May 1927 in a concert version at the Sarah Bernhardt Theatre, Paris
Symphony of Psalms,
first performed in Brussels on 13 December 1930


Esa-Pekka Salonen
Stage Director
Peter Sellars
Elias Sime
Costume Designer
Dunya Ramicova / Helene Siebrits
Lighting Designer
James F. Ingalls
Musical Assistant
Natalie Murray
Pianist / Vocal Coach
Nino Pavlenichvili
Stage Director Assistant
Vincent Huguet*
Stage Designer Assistant
Véronique Chazal
Costumes Designer Assistant
Clémence Pernoud*
Œdipe Roi
Joseph Kaiser
Violeta Urmana
Créon / Tirésias / le Messager
Sir Willard White
Le Berger
Joshua Stewart*
Antigone (narrator)
Pauline Cheviller
Ismene (dancer)
Laurel Jenkins
Orphei Drängar, Gustaf Sjökvist Chamber Choir, Sofia Vokalensemble
Chorus Master
Folke Alin
Philharmonia Orchestra

Consulendum est, Jocasta,
Volo videre pastorem.
Sceleris superest spectator.

I want to find out the truth, Jocasta
I want to see the shepherd.
He still lives, he who witnessed the crime.

Jean Cocteau, Œdipus Rex, act II (1928)

Plague has descended on Thebes. Oedipus, the king, wants to find out who is responsible. In an uncompromising search for the truth, he gradually comes to realise that he is the guilty one; guilty of killing King Laius, his father, and marrying Queen Jocasta, his mother. Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex is a reworking of Sophocles’ uncompromising play, told in archaic Latin and set to music of hieratic splendour. And to give us the next instalment – the subject matter of Oedipus at Colonus, also by Sophocles – director Peter Sellars came up with the idea of complementing Stravinsky’s dramatic oratorio with a lavish piece for choir and orchestra: the Symphony of Psalms. This takes us on a journey from the depths of the abyss to the bright light of passionate alleluias, a journey comparable to that made by the ageing Oedipus, now blind and in exile, and guided by his daughter Antigone to the place where he will die. Salonen and Sellars, passionate Stravinskians both, take us on the trail of the King of Thebes in the company of an acting Antigone, some stunning soloists, three Scandinavian choirs and the spellbinding Philharmonia Orchestra.

Read the booklet

*Former artists of the Académie

With the support from

Fondation Meyer pour le développement culturel et artistique


Friday15July 2016
10:00 PM
Sunday17July 2016
10:00 PM

Ticket prices: 270€, 180€, 150€, 120€, 55€, 30€, 15€ (blind seat)
Youth ticket price: 9€
Children’s discovery offer for all performances, except the opening night
Performance available with season ticket packages and Premium or Prestige offers

2 hours including one interval

Performance in Latin and French with French and English surtitles


Broadcasted live on 17 July on Culture Box