le-grand-macabre1To La Monnaie this afternoon to see a brilliant production of Ligetti’s absurdist masterpiece, Le Grand Macabre. The set was extraordinary. Clearly inspired by the hellish images of Hieronymous Bosch and Breughel, the centrepiece is a vast crouching nude, seen from all sides during the production thanks to a revolve. The back half very cleverly detaches to reveal hellish interiors and the singers sprout from every single orifice (and the nipples). Moreover, through clever use of projected light the figure’s face is distorted and contorted into various expressions of grief and desperation. One of the jokes in the plot, that Nekrotzar (death, the devil) gets so drunk he misses his own apocalypse, reminded me of Chaucer’s Nun’s Priest Tale, where four young drunks go out to kill death and end up killing each other. Good to see a brilliant young Brit, Leo Hussain, conducting. The Sunday Times published a review for those who want to know more (click here).