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Oedipus Rex - Online Oedipus Rex - Online

Composed by Igor Stravinsky

Conducted by James Conlon

June 17 – July 18, 2021

Access to watch the concert performance of Oedipus Rex ended on Sunday, July 18.  Thank you for watching.

Stravinsky based Oedipus Rex on the ancient Greek tragedy of the same name by Sophoclesyes, the one where Oedipus unknowingly kills his own father and marries his mother. The 1927 opera is a highly stylized, ritualistic work; in fact, the composer specifically requested that it be staged with minimal movement (which works well with COVID restrictions). A narrator describes the action throughout the course of the opera. Stravinsky set his work in Latin but specified that the narration is to be spoken in the language of the audience. The performance will feature incredibly imaginative projected animations created by Manual Cinema, an Emmy Award-winning performance collective, design studio and film/video production company.

Music Director James Conlon conducts a stellar cast led by tenor Russell Thomas, LA Opera's Artist in Residence, as Oedipus, the doomed king. Mezzo-soprano J'Nai Bridges returns as Jocasta, his queen (and mother). Legendary actor Stephen Fry will make his LA Opera debut (via audio recording) as the Narrator in this equally-legendary tale.

Click here to read the digital program for Oedipus Rex.

"Wonderful… The singing was tremendous. A feast of the raw, powerful, emotional singing that opera lovers hunger for…"

Los Angeles Times


Russell Thomas
J'Nai Bridges
John Relyea
Morris Robinson
Robert Stahley
Stephen Fry


James Conlon
Grant Gershon
Manual Cinema
Azra King-Abadi
Director: Stream Presentation
Matthew Diamond


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A speaker appears, to narrate each episode of the story before it happens. He warns us we will watch Oedipus falling into a trap waiting for him since his birth.

The city of Thebes is afflicted by plague. In despair, the inhabitants turn to their king, Oedipus, who promises help. His ambitious brother-in-law, Creon, has learned from the oracle that the plague has been sent because the murderer of the previous king, Laius, is still living in the city.

Oedipus vows to find this man. He consults with the blind Tiresias who unwillingly tells him: "The murderer of the king is a king." Jocasta, the widow of Laius and now the wife of Oedipus, tells her husband that Laius met his death 12 years before at a crossroads. Oedipus realizes he himself is the murderer.

News arrives of the death of Oedipus’s supposed father, Polybus, and the king discovers that he was adopted after being found abandoned as a baby on Mount Cithaeron. Hearing this, Jocasta realizes that Oedipus, her husband and the murderer of her former husband, is their long-lost son.

Jocasta kills herself and Oedipus, taking her pin of gold, puts out his own eyes. Blinded, he reappears once more in front of the citizens, before turning away and leaving Thebes forever.
—Boosey & Hawkes

The running time is approximately 50 minutes, with no intermission.

Oedipus Rex is sung in Latin (with English subtitles) with spoken narration in English.

LA Opera's production of Oedipus Rex and the performance of the LA Opera Orchestra are made possible with generous support from Terri and Jerry M. Kohl.

Additional support for this streaming from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

Artwork for Oedipus Rex - Online
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