Mittwoch aus Licht


Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007)
Mittwoch aus Licht (1995-1997)

opéra en un salut, quatre scènes et un adieu pour neuf instrumentistes, un chœur avec chef chantant, orchestre, danseurs-mimes et électronique
[Mercredi de Lumière]

nouvelle production Le Balcon, Philharmonie de Paris
date prévisionnelle novembre 2023
durée approximative : 4h30

Mittwoch aus Licht – Mercredi de Lumière -, est le sixième des sept opéras du compositeur Karlheinz Stockhausen réunis sous le titre Licht.


Mittwoch aus Licht – Wednesday from Light – is the sixth of the seven operas written by Karlheinz Stockhausen, assembled under the name LICHT.

Salut du Mercredi | Wednesday Greeting – 54mn

Bande | Tape
Projection sonore | Sound projection

Scène I : Parlement du monde | World Parliament  – 38mn

  • 1 chef de chant | 1 song leader
  • 1 soprano colorature | 1 coloratura soprano
  • 3 sopranos | 3 sopranos
  • 3 altos | 3 altos
  • 3 ténors | 3 ténors
  • 1 bariton | 1 baritone
  • 3 basses | 3 bass
  • 2 acteurs | 2 actors

Scène II | Orchestre de Finalistes | Orchestra Finalists – 46mn

  • 1 hautbois | 1 oboe
  • 1 violoncelle | 1 cello
  • 1 basson | 1 pianist
  • 1 violon | 1 violin
  • 1 tuba | 1 tuba
  • 1 flûte | 1 flute
  • 1 trombonne | 1 trombone
  • 1 alto | 1 alto
  • 1 trompette | 1 trumpet
  • 1 contrebasse | 1 double bass
  • 1 cor | 1 horn
  • 1 percussion | 1 percussion
  • Projection sonore | Sound projection

Scène III : Le Quatuor à cordes des hélicoptères  | Helicopter string quartet 31mn

Quatuor à corde| String quartet
4 hélicoptères avec pilotes et 4 techniciens | 4 helicopters with pilotes and 4 sound technicians
4 transmetteurs télévisuels | 4 televisions transmitters
4×3 transmetteurs de son | 4×3 sound transmitters
4 colonnes de télévisions et 4 colonnes de hauts-parleurs | 4 columns of televisions and 4 columns of loudspeakers.
Sonorisateur/modérateur | Sound projectionnist/Moderator

Scène 4 : Michaelion | Michaelion – 59mn

Chœur | Choir
Basse | Bass with short-wave receiver
Flûte | Flute
Cor de basset | Bassethorn
Trompette | Trumpet
Trombone | Trombone
Synthétiser | Synthesizer
Bande | Tape
2 danseurs | 2 dancers
Sonorisateur | Sound projectionist

L’Adieu du Mercredi  | Mittwochs-Abschied – 44mn

Musique électronique et concrète | Electronic and concrete music

Création mondiale | Premiere of the opera
22 août 2012, par la Birmingham Opera Company à Argyle Works

Création Le Balcon | Premiere of our version

Durée totale | Total duration : 4h27mn

Mittwoch aus Licht (‘Wednesday from Light’) is the opera of cooperation, reconciliation and ultimately, love. Its element is air. Every act of Mittwoch is not related by a dramatic arc but they all have a common relationship to unity and symbiosis inside the music itself. Also, they all are related to the opening up of the concert physical space, and to the art of flying.

Wednesday’s greeting

Wednesday Greeting is the electronic music of the fourth scene, Michaelion. It must be played in the concert hall foyer. The audience feel the blow of the wind, seeing for example the movement of veils and kites.

Scene I : World Parliament

A world parliament, composed with a choir, is placed in a semi-arc on the stage. At the center, in an elevated position, there’s a president, inviting 12 singer soloists to share their views and thoughts about love.

Scene II : Orchestra Finalists

11 instrumental soloists are flying above the audience. They all play a solo, like professional musicians would do for an audition. While they play, the visual and acoustic space change : we are transported above a swimming pool filled with litt- le boys yelling, in a Marrakech souk, near a locomotive, inside the St Mark’s Basi- lica, and inside Stockhausen’s « imaginary spaces », composed with the concrete sounds of three acoustic spaces played at the same time.

Scene III : Helicopter String Quartet

First, we hear a press conference, in which the musical director explains what is going to happen, and introduce the audience to four string instrumentists. The so- loists then leave the auditorium, enter four helicopters, which start flying around the concert hall ; they play a string quartet, synchronized and heard in the audi- torium with loudspeakers and screens. The meaning of this piece is the creation of a same, united music while being in different spaces. In the end, the artists and the pilots (!) are interviewed in the auditorium.

Scene IV : Michaelion

In galactic headquarters called Michaelion, people are looking to elect a new pre- sident, in order to translate in a more effective way the cosmic signals. Luzika- mel, a strange animal-character followed by a trombone player, is a candidate. It dances, then fall, then a monk comes out of the camel’s skin, and stays alone. Six singer soloists appear and sing with emotion, that Lucifer has been cured and transformed by Michael, Eve and LICHT music.

Wednesday’s Farewell

In the concert hall foyer, the spectators hear the electronic music of Orchestra Finalists.