4th Festival 1994

Main programme

Samstag 26. Nov. // 19.00 – 21.30 Uhr
Oper Leipzig

(Beitrag der Oper Leipzig in eigener Auswahl)

Oper Leipzig

»Moses and Aaron«

Oper in drei Akten

Musik und Text:

Arnold Schönberg

Musikalische Leitung:

Georg Alexander Albrecht


George Tabori

Bühnenbild und Kostüme:

Gottfried Pilz


Anton Tremmel


Matteo de Monti (Moses), Hans Aschenbach (Aron), Gertrud Hoffstedt/Hendrikje Wangemann (ein junges Mädchen), Annelott Damm (eine Kranke), Viktor Sawaley (ein junger Mann), Bernd-Michael Krause (der nackte Jüngling), Belá Perenc (ein anderer Mann), Jürgen Kurth (Ephraimit), Hidekazu Tsumaya (ein Priester), Marina Posselt, Hendrikje Wangemann/Gertrud Hoffstedt, Bettina Denner-Bruckner, Annette Markert (vier nackte Jungfrauen)

Chor der Oper Leipzig
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

The dance around the golden calf escalates into an orgy. Aaron created it out of sacrificial offerings so that he could provide the people with an image of a divine being. But then his brother Moses descends from Mount Sinai with the ten commandments and in a fury destroys the heathen image. He demands faith by reasons of a spiritual idea and of understanding and not through deceitful idolatry.

This scene climaxes the collision of two ideologies. The opera »Moses und Aron« (»Moses and Aaron«) by Arnold Schönberg was mainly created in the years 1930 till 1932 and belongs to the most significant stage productions of the twentieth century. It remained incomplete: even though the third act's libretto exists, the music – the problem and the challenge for any production – is missing, that is except for a few broad outlines. Only after Schönberg's death in 1951 did the play receive its scenic first night performance and then was immediately acclaimed for its dramatic power.

Schönberg's musical idea drama is based on various sources. Amongst those belong the Old Testament's five books of Moses as well as August Strindberg's drama »Moses«. With his opera did Schönberg acknowledge his troth to Judaism. However it is not possible to call this opera simple religious or spiritual since it intentionally includes progressive presentations as well as very generalised characteristics in its multi-layered structure.

Directed by the famous octogenarian dramatist George Tabori, »Moses and Aaron« is shown for the first time on the stage of the Oper Leipzig. After last year's guest performance of Vienna's Burgtheater with its »Bericht für eine Akademie« (»Report for an Academy«) by Franz Kafka is »Moses and Aaron« the second of Tabori's productions that finds its way into the euro-scene Leipzig programme.