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Oedipus rexlocked

  • Richard Taruskin

Extract

Opera-oratorio in two acts by igor Stravinsky to a libretto by jean Cocteau after Sophocles ; Vienna, Staatsoper, 23 February 1928 (previously performed as an oratorio, Paris, Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt, 30 May 1927).

Stravinsky claimed to have been inspired with the idea of composing a hieratic drama in an archaic sacred language (‘not dead but turned to stone’) by reading a biography of St Francis of Assisi. Having decided on Sophocles’ Oedipus play, he turned to Cocteau, who had been trying to secure his collaboration since ...

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