A great avant-garde innovator, Stockhausen spent decades rebuilding the basic elements of music, discovering new possibilities for traditional instruments and creating unheard worlds of electronic sound at his studio in Cologne.
When he finally turned to opera, aged 50, his ambitions reached new heights. He spent 26 years developing his seven-part epic, the Licht cycle, which explored the story of mankind as a cosmic saga, and linked each opera to a day of the week, a celestial body and a colour.
Donnerstag (Thursday, Jupiter, bright blue) is the fourth opera in the cycle and follows the story of Michael, an angel in human form, as he relives the composer’s childhood, learns music, grows up, falls in love, travels around the world and overcomes the forces of evil. In the end he ascends back to heaven.
Maxime Pascal, winner of the 2014 Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award, founded Le Balcon while still a student at the Paris conservatoire. Feted for their work on Stockhausen operas, the ensemble are known for their immersive approach to performance. They won the Fondation Stockhausen first prize in 2013, and and performed extracts from Donnerstag aus Licht in 2016 and 2017.
Southbank Centre Resident Orchestra the London Sinfonietta celebrates its anniversary in 2018, marking 50 years of stunning contemporary music performance.
This project is generously supported by The London Community Foundation and Cockayne – Grants for the Arts.
RepertoireStockhausen: Donnerstag aus Licht (Thursday from Light) - opera in 3 acts, a greeting, & a farewell
Please note that Stockhausen's 'Greeting' that precedes Act 1 from Donnerstag aus Licht is performed at 6pm in the foyers of Royal Festival Hall.
The 'Farewell' that concludes the opera is performed in the foyers as the audience exit the auditorium.