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Stockhausen's Donnerstag aus Licht

For the first time since 1985, Stockhausen’s monumental opera Donnerstag aus Licht (Thursday from Light) returns to the UK for just two performances in Royal Festival Hall.

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 aus Licht (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 conducts the combined forces of his Paris-based ensemble Le Balcon, the London Sinfonietta, the New London Chamber Choir and students from the Royal Academy of Music, in a new production directed and adapted for the concert hall by Benjamin Lazar.

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Le Balcon 
London Sinfonietta 
Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble 
Maxime Pascal conductor
Henri Deléger Michael, trumpet
Hubert Mayer Michael, tenor, (Act 1)
Safir Behloul Michael, tenor, (Act 3)
Emmanuelle Grach Michael, dancer
Iris Zerdoud Eve, basset horn
Léa Trommenschlager Eve, soprano, (Act 1)
Elise Chauvin Eve, soprano, (Act 3)
Suzanne Meyer Eve, dancer
Mathieu Adam Lucifer, trombone
Damien Pass Lucifer, bass
Jamil Attar Lucifer, dancer
Alphonse Cemin Michael's accompanist
Alice Caubit clarinet, clownesque swallow, (Act 2)
Ghislain Roffat clarinet, basset horn, clownesque swallow, (Act 2)
Simon Guidicelli Doctor, (Act 1)
New London Chamber Choir 
Florent Derex sound projection
Augustin Muller computer music design
Yann Chapotel video design
Christophe Naillet lighting design


Stockhausen: Donnerstag aus Licht (Thursday from Light) - opera in 3 acts, a greeting & a farewell

Discover Southbank Centre


There’s always something to see and do at Southbank Centre, the bustling arts centre by the river Thames. See shows and exhibitions, take part in vibrant festivals, and look out for free music and events. Enjoy a drink or a meal in one of the many bars and restaurants or soak up the atmosphere at the iconic Royal Festival Hall. 

In addition to the Royal Festival Hall, the expansive site includes Hayward Gallery (scheduled to reopen in 2018), Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Rooms and the Poetry Library.

The arts centre hosts a festival programme of over 5000 events every year across the genres of art, theatre, dance, classical and contemporary music, literature and debate. For 2017 Southbank Centre places a focus Nordic art and culture - find out more about sustainable food and communal singing, hygge and saunas, paternity leave and the struggle for gender equality

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