8th Festival 1998

Main programme

Sonntag 15. Nov. // 16.00 – ca. 21.00 Uhr
Oper Leipzig

(Beitrag der Oper Leipzig in eigener Auswahl)

Oper Leipzig

»Saint François d'Assise«

(»Der Heilige Franz von Assisi«)

Franziskus-Szenen – Oper in drei Akten und acht Bildern

Text und Musik:

Olivier Messiaen

Musikalische Leitung:

Jiří Kout

Inszenierung, Bühnenbild und Kostüme:

Gottfried Pilz


Manfred Voss


Ofelia Sala (der Engel), Frode Olsen (der Heilige Franz), Louis Gentile (der Leprakranke), Tom Erik Lie (Bruder Léon), Sang Ho Choi (Bruder Massée), Victor Sawaley/Jörg Schörner (Burder Elie), Soon Won Kang (Bruder Bernhard), Hidekazu Tsumaya (Bruder Sylvestre), Roland Schubert (Bruder Rufin)

Chor der Oper Leipzig

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

In französischer Sprache mit deutschen Übertiteln

The town Assisi is located in Umbria near Perugia, about half ways between Florence and Rome. A visit there is a fundamental essential of all classical journeys to Italy and the town is shaped by the personality of the holy St. Francis (1182-1226) who lived and worked there. He founded the Franciscan order whose dicta demand penance, poverty and humility.

»Saint François d'Assise« can rightfully be called the chef d'oeuvre and mighty keystone of Olivier Messiaen's creations. It does not deals with an opera's usual plot but with a series of scenes that show various aspects in the life of the holy St. Fran(cis). Sufferance, mastery of trepidation, encounter with an angel, sermon with a bird, stigmatisation (acquisition of the wound marks), death and renaissance are the stations along this road.

Olivier Messiaen (1908-21) is one of the most significant French composers of the 20th century. After rehearsal performances in Paris (1983) and Salzburg (1992), his »Saint François d'Assise« will now be performed for the first time in Germany at the Oper Leipzig.

»Messiaen's music reminds us at the grand majesty that surrounds us, at the eternal miracle and on the fact that all of nature speaks to us. Messiaen's opera should not be entertainment but something much more exciting and precious... In a world that is dominated by a all-devouring urge for material goods, Messiaen's work should be understood as a challenge for knowledge and understanding« (Peter Sellars, Regisseur der Inszenierung in Salzburg, 1992, aus: Programmheft der Salzburger Festspiele anlässlich der Neuinszenierung, Sommer 1998).

Uraufführung: 28.11.1983, Paris
Premiere der Leipziger Inszenierung: 08.11.1998

Produktion: Oper Leipzig