Lear - Opéra national de Paris (2016) - Lear - Opéra national de Paris (2016)


General Information


New production

Berlioz wrote nothing more than an overture to Shakespeare’s King Lear. Debussy went no further than the first two numbers of the incidental music he had agreed to write for Andre Antoine’s production of the play. Verdi, who procrastinated endlessly over this “vast and tortuous” tragedy that had haunted him since 1843, confessed towards the end of his life that the scene where Lear finds himself on the moor had terrified him. Hoping to do justice to the role “less out of theatrical ambition” than because he had long “believed that the various levels of the inner and outer drama could be adapted and effectively expressed in music”, the great German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau appealed to Benjamin Britten before turning to the German composer, Aribert R eimann. At first hesitant, the latter finally set to work. After repeatedly reading the play, the work eventually took root and he stored away the music in “a sort of drawer somewhere in [his] head”. A commission from the Munich Staatsoper in 1975 triggered the actual composition. “Rarely has anyone depicted so convincingly – except perhaps Alban Berg in Wozzeck – the fact that a man's solitude is due to his own incapacity to see those around him”, wrote the first performer of this major 20th century opera composed at his initiative. This new production by Calixto Bieito marks the first revival of the work at the Paris Opera since its French premiere in 1982. 

More information is available on the opera house's official website.


May 20, 2016 19:30:00

May 23, 2016 19:30:00

May 26, 2016 19:30:00

May 29, 2016 14:30:00

June 01, 2016 20:30:00

June 06, 2016 19:30:00

June 09, 2016 19:30:00

June 12, 2016 19:30:00


Calixto Bieito

Fabio Luisi

Bo Skovhus

Gidon Saks

Andreas Scheibner

Michael Colvin

Kor-Jan Dusseljee

Lauri Vasar

Andrew Watts

Andreas Conrad

Ricarda Merbeth

Erika Sunnegardh

Annette Dasch

Edda Moser

Nicolas Marie

Work's characters list



König Lear

König von Frankreich

Herzog von Albany

Herzog von Cornwall

Graf von Kent

Graf von Gloster