The Zagreb premiere of Kein Licht

Opera work Kein Licht. composed by Philippe Manoury had its premiere at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb on November 7, 2017 with the participation of Croatian and foreign opera artists and musicians. The following re-runs in Zagreb were held on November 8 and 9, 2017.

The work was commissioned by the Parisian Opéra Comique that is the producer of this project which entered into co-productions with several significant European Opera theatres such as: Ruhrtriennale in Duisburg, Opéra National du Rhin, Festival Musica de Strasbourg, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, Münchner Kammerspiele, French Institute for Research and Coordination of Acoustics/Music – IRCAM and Ensemble Lucilin with additional 105 European sponsors.

Opera Kein Licht. by Philippe Manoury was granted the Fedora Award 2016 and is supported by the French Lyric Creation Fund / Fonds de Création Lyrique i Impuls Neue Musik.

Kein Licht. by Philippe Manoury is a “Thinkspiel for actors, instrumentalists and electronic music in real time” based on a text by Elfriede Jelinek. The conductor is Julien Leroy and the stage director is Nicolas Stemann. The set designer is Kathrin Nottrodt, the costume designer is Marysol del Castillo, the light designer is Rainer Kasper and camera is led by Claudia Lehmann.

The cast of the performance is Sarah Maria Sun, Christina Daletska, Olivia Vermeulen, Lionel Peintre and members of the Choir of the Opera of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb – Tamara Cipek, Dolores Leko, Siniša Galović, Antonio Brajković / Lidija Mađerčić, Kristina Anđelka Đopar, Dario Ćurić, Leo Beslać accompanied by Ensemble United instruments of Lucilin.


Following the catastrophe at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the Parisian Opéra Comique commissioned the famous French composer Philippe Manoury to write the opera Kein Licht.  based on the 2011 text of the same name by the Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek, Nobel Prize winner for literature. Jelinek’s text was selected by the German director Nicolas Stemann, who adapted it for the stage with the French composer Manoury. The opera goes beyond the Fukushima tragedy; it is a global, metaphorical reflection on individual and collective responsibility for political and environmental issues, and humans’ relationship with technology. In this case it is about the dangers of using nuclear power. In collaboration with the Parisian IRCAM, composer Philippe Manoury, one of their members, creates a musical piece involving computer music systems and music programming, which is his preferred composing medium. The text and the music of the work will be closely linked, creating a contemporary Singspiel, a German version of the opéra-comique genre – alternation of spoken and sung scenes. Kein Licht. is a piece with a European dimension, since it takes inspiration from traditional music styles, popular on both sides of the Rhine. The Singspiel is literally a sung play, and Mozart’s operas were its founding masterpieces. At the same time accessible, innovative and daring, this operatic form will be reborn in a contemporary way in order to communicate with a modern audience, to speak about our failures and our achievements. This co-production with several European musical theaters marks the continuation of the international collaborations of the CNT in Zagreb.

JULIEN LEROY is a French conductor who in 2014 was named the most talented young French conductor. His wide repertoire includes works from the 18th century as well as contemporary music, which he conducts with great European and world orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists.

NICOLAS STEMANN, is a German director born in Hamburg, where he studied Philosophy and Literature, but then went on to graduate in theatre direction at the Theatre Academy. Since 1995 he has collaborated with numerous German theaters, directing noted dramatic works, and since 2010 he has also been directing operas, with an emphasis on contemporary works.


©Opéra Comique/ InconitO-Matthieu Fappani



A party was held after the premiere of Kein Licht by Philippe Manoury at which the production team and artists were congratulated by numerous artists and cultural workers who attended the party.