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Gioachino Rossini Moïse et Pharaon
ou Le Passage de la Mer Rouge

Opera in four acts
Text by Luigi Balocchi and Etienne de Jouy after Andrea Leone Tottola's libretto to Rossini's azione tragico-sacra Mosè in Egitto

New production
In French with German and English surtitles

Duration of the performance: approx. 3 hours
2 breaks


  • 08 August 2009, 18:30


  • 11 August 2009, 19:30
  • 18 August 2009, 18:30
  • 20 August 2009, 18:30
  • 23 August 2009, 15:00
  • 25 August 2009, 18:30

Print programme (PDF)


Riccardo Muti, Conductor
Jürgen Flimm, Stage Director
Ferdinand Wögerbauer, Set Design
Birgit Hutter, Costume Design
Friedrich Rom, Lighting
Maren Hofmeister, Dramaturgy
Catharina Lühr, Choreography
Thomas Lang, Chorus Master


Ildar Abdrazakov, Moïse
Juan Francisco Gatell, Eliézer, his brother
Nicola Alaimo, Pharaon
Nino Surguladze, Sinaïde, his wife
Eric Cutler, Aménophis, their son
Marina Rebeka, Anaï
Barbara Di Castri, Marie, her mother, Moïse's sister
Saverio Fiore, Aufide
Alexey Tikhomirov, Osiride, High Priest of Isis
Ante Jerkunica, A Mysterious Voice

Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna Philharmonic


“Let my people go,” the black slaves sang in the cotton fields. They wanted to free themselves from the merciless slavery of their white masters. Moses was to go to the Pharaoh, they sang: “Go down, Moses, go down to Egyptland, tell old Pharaoh, let my people go.” But the Pharaoh was just as unwilling as the plantation owners to let the suppressed people of Israel go. An angry god Jahveh forced him with a series of terrible plagues to change his relentless attitude. These plagues, and ultimately a spell of darkness, demonstrated Jahveh’s implacable power.
Rossini describes this story from the Old Testament in a Grand Opéra. Its focus, however, is the touching love story between Anais, Moses’ niece, and Amenophis, the Pharaoh’s son, who try to find their small happiness among these great troubles. Anais ultimately decides in favor of her faith and her people. The Israelites begin their wearisome trek through the desert to the promised land Canaan, pursued by armored cavalry. When they arrive at the Red Sea, Moses parts the waters and the people of Israel reach the other side safely. The Pharaoh’s troops, however, drown in the floods of the sea.

Jürgen Flimm