Freitag aus Licht

Karlheinz Stockhausen

Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007)
Freitag aus Licht (1991-1994)

Friday from Light is the opera of temptation:  the temptation is to use the body as if it were a musical instrument, the temptation to turn one sound into another.  A special interest for Karlheinz Stockhausen is the focus on the way sound moves through space, creating mobile sound in relief.

Freitag features three musical dimensions:  the first, Weltraum, is a composition for electronic music by Karlheinz Stockhausen which he produced in his studio.  The second has twelve scenes of ballet performed by twelve pairs of dancers dressed up as everyday beings and objects.  The third has dramatic action involving the main characters in the libretto and their respective children.

Team : 5 soloists, 12 couples of dancers, children orchestra, children choir, choir & electronics
First performance of the production: Fall 2022
Color : orange | Celestial body : Venus | Spiritual features: knowledge and wisdom

Freitags-Gruss | Friday’s greeting – 1h08mn

Large flames lighting up the foyer are from candles that gradually melt away.  The electronic music of Weltraum can be heard not only in the foyer, but also in the auditorium.

Acts 1 and 2 : Freitag-Versuchung | Friday’s Tempation – 2h25mn

Eve and Ludon (a new personification of Lucifer) meet, and Ludon offers her the hand of his son, Caino, but she hesitates.

Soon after, Eve, while walking with her children who are carrying western-type instruments, runs into Ludon with children who form a choir and who have African instruments.  The two groups play, one after the other, and Ludon suggests to Eve that the choir and orchestra play together.

Eve agrees, and the children play a tutti.  Ludon goes over to the choir and sings with them.  When Ludon and Eve are left by themselves, Eve finally agrees to wed Caino.  They disappear.

The next scene occurs at night.  A lake can be seen shimmering in the moonlight.  Eve meets Caino and, in rapture in union together, they sing a sensual duo.  Eve leaves him, sailing away on a ship;  a red comet crosses the heavens;  and Michael, betrayed, utters a heart-rending cry.

A battle is being waged between Ludon and Eve’s children;  some fall down wounded.  Just as Eve’s children appear to be winning, a flying rhinoceros comes to the rescue of Ludon’s children.  They all disappear in great commotion and fury.

Eve repents. While praying, she sees a vision of Michael, then, further in the distance, a divine light.

Freitags-Abschied | Friday’s Farewell – 1h20mn

As was the case for Friday Greeting, the work Weltraum can be heard in the foyer and other parts of the building.  The audience walks out into a strange orange-tinted haze.

Friday’s Greeting – 1h08mn

8 loudspeakers
Sound projectionnist

Acts I & II : Freitag-Versuchung – 2h25mn

  • 1 soprano
  • 1 barytone
  • 1 bass
  • 1 flute
  • 1 bassethorn
  • 1 children’s orchestra
  • 1 children’s choir
  • 12 couples of dancer-mimes
  • Tape
  • 1 sound projectionnist
  • 12 loudspeakers

Friday’s Farewell – 1h20mn
8 loudspeakers
Sound projectionnist

World premiere
12 septembre 1996, Opéra de Leipzig

Premiere of our version
Automne | Fall 2022