Dutch National Opera presents
Down to the essence
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 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.
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.
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.
“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 AudiResident 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.
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.
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