Oedipus Rex

Oedipus Rex

About Oedipus Rex

Oedipus rex is an 'Opera-oratorio after Sophocles' by Igor Stravinsky, scored for orchestra, speaker, soloists, and male chorus. The libretto, based on Sophocles's tragedy, was written by Jean Cocteau in French and then translated by Abb Jean Danilou into Latin (the narration, however, is performed in the language of the audience). Oedipus rex was written towards the beginning of Stravinsky's neoclassical period. He had considered setting the work in Ancient Greek, but decided ultimately on Latin: in his words 'a medium not dead but turned to stone.' The work is sometimes performed in the concert hall as an oratorio, as it was at its original performance in the Thtre Sarah Bernhardt in Paris on May 30, 1927, and at its American premiere the following year given by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Harvard Glee Club. It has also been presented on stage as an opera, the first such performance being at the Vienna State Opera on 23 February 1928.