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Music Text

Libretto by Hans-Ulrich Treichel; English version by Amanda Holden (G,E)


S,M,A,CT,T,dramBar,Bar,B; 2T,2B soli from chorus; mixed chorus;
3(II,III=picc,II=afl).2(II=corA).0.Ebcl.bcl.2.dbn-0.4(I,II=picctpt).3.dbtuba.2Wagner tubas(T,B)-timp.perc(5):anvil/BD/8gongs/3tam-t(hi,med,lo)/t.bells/susp.cym/cym/3wdbl(hi,med,lo)/2tom-t(med,lo)/maracas/guiro/SD/cast/crot/sizzle cym/marimba/whip/glsp/tgl/vib/ratchet/claves/2bongos(hi,med)-2harps-pft-cel-pedal org-strings(min.; kbd instruments require only 2 players; on-stage small hand perc to be played by 5 singers

Abbreviations (PDF)

For full details on this stagework, including synopsis and roles, please visit our Opera section.


This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


World Premiere
Oper, Frankfurt a.M.
Christian Pade, director / Oper Frankfurt / Markus Stenz
Composer's Notes
Press Quotes

Perhaps the finest German opera of the 21st Century.
Guy Richards, Tempo, Oct 2010

Both the music and the libretto have an outstanding clarity and density. One can clearly follow the delicate dramatic structure, while the music not only includes strong effects and extremes but also traces the verbal development of an absurd exertion of power to a degree that ideally matches the text.
Hans-Hürgen Linke, Frankfurter Rundschau, 09 Oct 2006

Detlev Glanert’s opera is a tremendous achievement. He is a master of orchestration, creating soundscapes between nerve-racking silence and wild, orgiastic noise. The orchestra reflects Caligula’s mental conditions; one could say that it leads the audience through the brain convolutions of this by no means mad person, who is driven to confusion by the truth.
Peter Jungblut, B 5 aktuell, 09 Oct 2006

Albert Camus once said his dream was to write „music for feverish voices of modern people.” With Glanert’s powerful, philosophically sensual musical language, Camus’ dream became reality. An effervescent, colourful musical drama which will attract many stages. A composition which will be seen as one of the great musical works of fate.
Barbara Röder, Scherzo, Nov 2006

Recommended Recording

Holland / Schuster / Wölfel / Frank / Adamonyte / Lazar / Volle / Zechmeister / Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester / Chor der Oper Frankfurt / Markus Stenz
OehmsClassics OC 932


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