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Luigi Nono Al gran sole carico d'amore

Azione scenica in two parts
Text by Luigi Nono and Yuri Lyubimov after Bertolt Brecht, Tania Bunke, Fidel Castro, Georgy Dimitrov, Ernesto Che Guevara, Maxim Gorky, Antonio Gramsci, Vladimir Lenin, Karl Marx, Louise Michel, Cesare Pavese, Arthur Rimbaud, Celia Sánchez, Haydée Santamaría and popular sources

New production

Coproduction with the Staatsoper Unter  den Linden, Berlin

Duration of the performance: approx. 2 hours


  • 02 August 2009, 20:30


  • 06 August 2009, 20:00
  • 09 August 2009, 20:00
  • 14 August 2009, 17:00

Print programme (PDF)


Ingo Metzmacher, Conductor
Katie Mitchell, Stage Director
Vicki Mortimer, Set and Costume Design
Leo Warner, Director of Photography for Fifty Nine Productions
Bruno Poet, Lighting
André Richard, Sound director
James Wood, Chorus Master
Benjamin Davis, Associate Director
Klaus Zehelein, Dramaturgical Consultant


Tanja Andrijic, Elin Rombo, Soprano 1
Sarah Tynan, Soprano 2
Anna Prohaska, Soprano 3
Virpi Räisänen, Soprano 4
Susan Bickley, Contralto
Peter Hoare, Tenor
Christopher Purves, Baritone
Hee-Saup Yoon, Andrè Schuen, Bass
Susan Bickley, Louise Michel
Julia Wieninger, Tania Bunke
Birgit Walter, Russische Mutter
Laura Sundermann, Deola
Christopher Purves, Deolas Kunde
Helena Lymbery, Turiner Mutter
Andrè Schuen, Sohn der Turiner Mutter
Sebastian Pircher, Live Camera

Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna Philharmonic


“Beauty is not at odds with revolution,” as a saying by Ernesto Che Guevara goes. This sentence hangs like a banner over the works of Luigi Nono, the Italian composer who has been the cause of passionate discussions for years. Guevara’s sentence is also the title for the prologue of Nono’s opera Al gran sole carico d’amore – which means “Under the Great Sun, Charged with Love” and refers to a poem by Arthur Rimbaud. Nono calls his composition for music theater an azione scenica in two parts. There is no traditional dramaturgy in this work. Today, one would call it a great collage, with texts by Brecht, Gorky, Pavese, Rimbaud and many others. The basic idea of the piece is the eternal female presence in life, in war, in love; yesterday, today, tomorrow, interwoven by anticipation and fragmentation, from the Cuban Revolution to the 1917 Soviet one, from the Russian Revolution of 1905 to the Paris Commune, leading into the Italian Resistenza. Basically, this opera is a great requiem for lost hopes and the failing of utopias – and together with Alban Berg’s Wozzeck and Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten, it is one of the great works of modern music theater.

Jürgen Flimm