Karlheinz Stockhausen

Cast (32 musicians)
Soloists: tr-bsthn-cl-bsthn (4)
Orchestra: 2fl-2ob-bcl-2bn / 2hn-2tr-2trb-tba / 3per-hp-pf-org / 3vn-2va-2vc-db (28)

Performance Language: None (instrumental music theatre)

Artistic production: Wiener Taschenoper.
Co-produced by Wiener Festwochen, Cologne Philharmonic, MusikFabrik and Festspielhaus Hellerau.
Video production for TV: WDR/arte.


Vienna, Jugendstil Theatre (Vienna Festival), May 12th - 16th, 2008 
Cologne, Philharmonie (WDR/arte), Aug 26th, 2008
Venice, Arsenale (La Biennale di Venezia), Oct 7th, 2008
Dresden, Festspielhaus Hellerau, Oct 10th - 11th, 2008
Paris, Theatre Bobigny (Festival d'Automne), Dec 13th - 14th, 2008
New York, Lincoln Center (LCF), Jul 18th - 20th, 2013


Musical Director: Peter Rundel
Artistic Concept and Production: Carlos Padrissa (La Fura dels Baus)
Artistic Concept and Set Design: Roland Olbeter
Artistic Concept and Video Design: Franc Aleu (Urano)
Costume Design: Chu Uroz
Sound Design: Paul Jeukendrup

Michael (Trumpet): Marco Blaauw
Eva (Basset horn): Nicola Jürgensen
Swallows Couple (Clarinet/Basset horn): Carl Rosman, Fie Shouten
Orchestra: MusikFabrik


In his epic work, LICHT, Stockhausen has created a 29-hour cosmic world theatre, that makes visible life's multiplicity in all its contradictions: war and peace, hatred and love, the will to destruction and the striving for perfection, slapstick and the sublime, the tawdry and the beautiful. MICHAEL's JOURNEY is the 2nd Act out of THURSDAY of LIGHT and in nucleo introduces us to this cosmos around the main characters MICHAEL, EVA and LUZIFER.

Carlus Padrissa, a member of the legendary radical Catalan theatre ensemble La Fura dels Baus, treats the LIGHT cycle not as a Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art), but as a world-spanning "global work of art", which he and his cohort infuse with the "Mediterranean light of the South": a voyage across the world in Stockhausen's footsteps - with "innocent awe" as our travel companion.


The intensity of dynamic movement – agility transferred into the visual realm – was the guiding principle behind the production, led by Carlus Padrissa of the Catalan theatre group La Fura dels Baus. The optical dynamism of the images and projections, by turns intense and frenetic, may just be the key in the future to letting there be “light” on other stages. (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Thus we witness the rarest of the rare: here, a “Gesamtkunstwerk” (complete with the scent of incense) has been transformed into a reality as poignant as it is artificial. A downright monumental bagatelle, and a posthumous triumph for Karlheinz Stockhausen: not merely has he arrived in the present; the present has found a home in him. (Die Welt)

Playful lightness and a high level of musicality convince in the Viennese performance. (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

A wondrously dense, downright haunting performance – and received unanimously with great enthusiasm. Here, music and staging are ideal complements: this is how Stockhausen’s esotericism (often scoffed at) can be transformed into theatrical delight, even for sceptics. (Die Presse)

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