Dutch National Opera presents

Fin de Partie György Kurtág (1926)

This show was to been seen in March 2019

Down to the essence

Duration 2:05

Breaks 0

Based on the famous play by Samuel Beckett, Fin de Partie is the first opera written by 91-year-old György Kurtág, one of the world’s greatest living composers. This production also marks Pierre Audi’s directorial debut at La Scala in Milan.

Beckett: waiting for the end

Renowned author and Nobel laureate Samuel Beckett originally wrote his four-character play Fin de Partie (1957) in French, later translating it into English himself as Endgame. He said that writing in language that was not his mother tongue enabled him to adopt a more straightforward and direct style. Together with En Attendant Godot, Fin de Partie is reckoned among Beckett’s most important works. In it, Beckett pares drama down to the essence: a handful of people in a single space, passing the time together, their sole concern to await the end.


Foto's: Ruth Walz


György Kurtág’s compositions with his stark, concentrated, intensely expressive style, have left an indelible imprint on twentieth century music history.  Het is able to evoke whole universes in just a few bars. His opera debut promises to be extraordinary.

Markus Stenz

Markus Stenz has been chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra since the 2012-2013 season, and is lauded for his performances of the contemporary symphonic and stage music repertoire. The last time the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra was at Dutch National Opera was June 2018 with George Benjamin's Lessons in Love and Violence.

Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
The Netherlands Radio Filharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1945, is an indispensable link in Dutch music life. No other orchestra plays so many Dutch and world premieres. Markus Stenz has been chief conductor since 2012. He can build on the success of illustrious predecessors such as Bernard Haitink, Edo de Waart and Jaap of Sweden. The Netherlands Radio Filharmonic Orchestra has a prominent place in the broadcasting series NTR ZaterdagMatinee and Het Zondagochtend Concert in The Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the AVROTROS Vrijdag concert in TivoliVredenburg Utrecht.


    Fri 23 Nov Fin de partie - The Guardian***** - la Scala 2018

    The 92-year-old’s first opera sets Beckett’s Endgame to create an uncompromising work that is utterly distinctive and, in Pierre Audi’s lucid production, unforgettable and touching.

    Fri 23 Nov Fin de partie - Bachtrack - la Scala 2018

    Pierre Audi's production is consistent with the spirit of Beckett's play, the silences of the characters reflected in his dry staging. The claustrophobic sensation of the play ("unfurnished interior" writes Beckett) is evident in Christof Hetzer's scenery (he is also the costume designer): a structure of houses one inside the other that confounds interior and exterior notions and are seen from different perspectives. "La lumière grisâtre" (greyish light) is achieved by Urs Schönebaum's efficient lighting.

    Tue 27 Nov Fin de partie - The New York Times (2018)

    “Mr. Kurtag, 92, has taken a protracted path to this patiently, perfectly tailored work, his first opera.” “[…] look at this exquisite opera, a miracle of dedication, craft and care.”

Pierre Audi

Resident director

PIERRE AUDI (stage director) became director of De Nederlandse Opera in 1988. As of 1 January 2013 he has become Director of Dutch National Opera. In the years of his leadership till september 2018 he is credited with giving the Netherlands its own opera tradition. His combined vision and audacity have earned him respect, both in the Netherlands and far beyond its borders, as both the Director of Dutch National Opera and as a stage director.

György Kurtág


The Hungarian composer GYÖRGY KURTÁG (1926, composition) is one of the last living composers of the avant-garde who turned the classical music world upside down after the Second World War.

Markus Stenz


The German conductor MARKUS STENZ (musical director) has a special reputation in the field of contemporary symphonic and dramatic music repertoire.

Team, Cast and Chorus

Markus Stenz
Stage Director
Pierre Audi
Set and Costume Designer
Christof Hetzer
Lighting Designer
Urs Schönebaum
Klaus Bertisch
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Frode Olsen
Leigh Melrose
Hilary Summers
Leonardo Cortellazzi

This production will mark Pierre Audi’s directorial debut at La Scala in Milan in November 2018.

This production is part of Opera Forward Festival and is made possible by:

Founding Partners Opera Forward Festival

Productionpartner Opera Forward Festival

Partners Opera Forward Festival

Jonge Musici Fonds, Mimi Cohen-Trijbits Fonds, Jade Fonds

Main sponsor Nationale Opera & Ballet