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April 2024

Orgia is a co-commission and a new co-production between the Arriaga Antzokia Theater in Bilbao, the Castell de Peralada Festival and the Gran Teatre del Liceu that integrates many fascinating ingredients, including the presentation of the latest lyrical score by Hèctor Parra, one of the Catalan composers with the greatest international projection. Alongside him, Calixto Bieito will put all his genius into the dissection of the main characters in this tragic self-destructive story in which we witness the sexual battle of a married couple.

Pier Paolo Pasolini's drama (of which we celebrate the centenary of his birth in 2022) will be a fabulous opportunity to reach the unique depth of the human soul. After two previous operatic collaborations between Calixto Bieito and Hèctor Parra —Wilde (2015) and Les bienveillantes (2019)—, they have now worked on the original text of Orgia.

To denounce the personal drama, the male protagonist of Orgia hangs himself after dressing as a woman. In fact, in the last moments of his life, he becomes aware of her homosexuality, and his suicide thus becomes an accusatory act. It is an opportunity to denounce an intolerant, hypocritical, cruel and contemptuous society with all those who deviate from the established norms.

Through his verses, Pasolini penetrates reality, illuminating how fascism annihilates all traces of humanity in modern society through the culture of custom. In Orgia, love and sex are at the service of a sadistic destruction. Inside her bedroom, a closed space in which anguish and remorse cast monstrous shadows in the uncertain transition between the world of reason and the world of dreams, the young co-star mother wants to break up with her husband, but just before committing suicide he performs the terrible act of Medea: he murders her two children. A tragedy that stars Aušrinė Stundytė, Kyle Ketelsen and Jone Martínez; singers/actors tailored to this new creative adventure of the Parra-Bieito tandem.

Program and cast

Stage direction and script: Calixto Bieito
Co-production: Gran Teatre del Liceu, Bilbao Arriaga Theater and Castell de Peralada Festival.

SOPRANO - Aušrinė Stundytė
BARITONE - Jonathan McGovern
SOPRANO - Jone Martinez

Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu
Pierre Bleuse

Gran Teatre del Liceu

Barcelona's opera house, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, was founded on the Rambla in 1847 and has continued over the years to fulfil its role as a culture and arts centre and one of the symbols of the city.

Today it is publicly-owned (by the Government of Catalonia, Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Provincial Council and the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte) and administered by the Fundació del Gran Teatre del Liceu which, in addition to the aforementioned bodies, incorporates the Patronage Council and the Societat del Gran Teatre del Liceu (the old society of owners).

Origins: From 1837 to 1847

The Liceu evolved out of the Sociedad Dramática de Aficionados (Society of theatre-lovers) set up in 1837 at the instigation of Manuel Gibert in the former convent of Montsió by members of the National Militia, an organization of armed citizens with liberal leanings.
Barcelona's economy and population were growing fast at the time and the city needed a music conservatory. This led to the conversion of the Sociedad Dramática into the Liceo Filármonico Dramático Barcelonés de S.M. la Reina Isabel II (Barcelona Dramatic and Philharmonic Lyceum of HM Queen Isabel II).  In addition to its theatrical activities, the new organization cultivated Italian-style singing and music.

The building on the Rambla

The original building was solemnly opened on 4 April 1847. The plans had been drawn up by Miquel Garriga i Roca, subsequently assisted by Josep Oriol Mestres. The project was funded by selling shares, which meant that many of the boxes and seats were to be privately owned. The shareholders formed the Societat del Gran Teatre del Liceu, known as the “Societat de Propietaris” (Society of Owners),  which was in sole charge of running the Gran Teatre del Liceu from 1855 onwards, after it was legally separated from the Conservatori del Gran Teatre del Liceu.
The theatre was operated by impresarios who were given a concession to stage a specific number of productions in exchange for the proceeds from the sale of tickets not reserved for the Societat itself. This system was to endure until 1980.

The creation of the Consortium

By the last quarter of the 20th century this management system was no longer viable. In 1980, to avert the danger of the disappearance of an institution of such worldwide cultural renown, the Generalitat  Catalonia's first government in modern times – set up a consortium, the Consorci del Gran Teatre del Liceu, which also incorporated Barcelona City Council and the Societat del Gran Teatre del Liceu. Barcelona Provincial Council joined the Consortium in 1985, followed by the Spanish Ministry of Culture in 1986. From then on the Consortium took over operation of the theatre.

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Performances: Fr 15 Mar 2024, 10:00