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Music Text

Text by Aeschylus (Gr)


Solo Bar; children's chorus, mixed chorus (18 men and 18 women, or multiples thereof) doubling perc: wood simantras/metal simantras/whips/sirens/metal sheets/maracas

1(=picc).1.0.Ebcl.dbcl.0.dbn-1.1(=picc.tpt).1.1-perc(3):2timp(sm,lg)/2bongos/SD/BD(lg)/2wdbl/2lion's roar/2gongs(sm,lg)/2tamb(without jingles)/whip/4tom-t/2nylon brushes(long bristles)/2maracas/thunder-sheet(lg)/glsp-vlc

Each instrumentalist (except percussionists) doubles on each of tgl/tamb(varying pitch,without jingles)/siren/glass chimes/whip/metal sheets/lion's roar/rattles

Audience plays metal simantras

Performances of Oresteia should include Kassandra (1987) for baritone, psalterium and solo percussion (15 minutes), and La Déesse Athena (1992) for baritone and twelve instruments (9 minutes). Both additional scores are available from Editions Salabert.

Abbreviations (PDF)

For full details on this stagework, including synopsis and roles, please visit our Opera section.

Boosey & Hawkes

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

Digital Score
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World stage premiere
Gibellina, Sicily
Iannis Kokkos and Rene Loyon, director / Spiros Sakkas (Cassandra); Sylvia Gualda, perc; Ensemble Instrumental de Basse-Normandie; 280choris / Michel Tabachnik and Dominique Debart
Press Quotes

“…sharp-edged, otherworldly…“Oresteia” works powerfully on its own terms.
The New York Times

"...a deeply moving theatrical poetic masterpiece."
Opera Now

"Distant from any more restrained emotion, fear and horror are elementally experienced through dark and threatening sounds."
Suddeutsche Zeitung

“...arresting… Xenakis never wrote a score that didn't instantly grab the ear and deliver a satisfying musical experience. …the elemental impact of the piece is undeniable... wholly mesmerizing.”

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