aus LICHT - part 3:

Karlheinz Stockhausen,
Holland Festival, De Nationale Opera, Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag

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A marathon performance will be staged of a large portion of the LICHT cycle, composed by Karlheinz Stockhausen. Featuring selected highlights from the seven operas – one for each day of the week – it will offer a spectacular overview of Stockhausen's masterpiece. The three parts of aus LICHT can also be visited seperately. 

Highlights from DIENSTAG aus LICHT, MITTWOCH aus LICHT and SONNTAG aus LICHT can be seen in the third part. For instance, INVASION-EXPLOSION, an overwhelming, electronic sound world in which the conflict between Michael and Lucifer is settled. This is followed by WELT-PARLAMENT, ORCHESTER-FINALISTEN and HELIKOPTER-STREICHQUARTETT, and visions of cosmic cooperation are shown. Both the Nederlands Kamerkoor and Cappella Amsterdam perform. Four string players perform high above Amsterdam from helicopters. This part is not to be missed by anyone who wants to see why Stockhausen was the greatest avant-garde composer of the previous century.

Programme part 3*

 ** (from MITTWOCH)
electronic composition (12.30 - 1.25 pm)

interval (1.25 - 2.00 pm)


interval (3.15 - 4.15 pm)


interval (5.00 - 6.00 pm)


dinner break (8.10 - 9.25 pm)

(ends at 10.30 pm)

* times with reservation
**electronic compositions for dedicated listeners in particular

Elucidation part 2

Two armies
The conflict between Michael and Lucifer climaxes in INVASION-EXPLOSION. In an awesome electronic soundscape that draws on Stockhausen’s own reminiscences of the Second World War, two 

armies battle each other in the theatre space. Lucifer’s forces finally claim victory. Mortally wounded, Michael dies in Eve’s embrace in the solemn PIETÁ, while a frenzied Lucifer celebrates. 

Disputes settled
MITTWOCH is the opera in LICHT in which the three main characters share the stage and finally reconcile. In WELT-PARLAMENT disputes are settled and visions for cosmic cooperation are born.

Instrumentalists arrive to audition for a heavenly orchestra in ORCHESTER-FINALISTEN, and four string players literally become airborne, taking off in a helicopter. Via radio links, the HELIKOPTER-STREICHQUARTETT is broadcast into the Gashouder theatre. After returning to Earth, the musicians and pilots take questions from the audience. Seven groups of singers then descend like angels from heaven and move through the audience, bringing a mood of serenity in the ENGELPROZESSIONEN, one of the two scenes fromSONNTAG, the opera concluding the LICHT cycle.


Background information aus LICHT

In 2019 a marathon performance will be staged of a large portion of the LICHT cycle, composed by Karlheinz Stockhausen. Featuring selected highlights from the seven operas – one for each day of

the week – it will offer a spectacular overview of Stockhausen's masterpiece.

aus LICHT is a selection of key sections of Karlheinz Stockhausen's LICHTcycle. From the whole work's 29 hours of music, the production will comprise 15 hours performed over three days, capturing the whole tonal universe of the original cycle. 

The three concerts, which together last more than 15 hours, can be viewed individually, but to experience the work in its full and unparalleled brilliance we recommend attending all three.

As the first-ever staging of such a large part of the LICHT cycle (over half of the full opera cycle), the unique nature and scale of this project make it a truly world-class operatic and musical theatre production.



Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007) was a German composer. He is considered to be one of the most influential composers of the second half of the 20th century.

Stockhausen (1928-2007) studied piano, musicology, philosophy and German linguistics. In the late 1940s he harboured ambitions to become a writer, even receiving letters of encouragement from Hermann Hesse. It was not until 1950 that he began taking lessons in composition with the Swiss composer Frank Martin, and subsequently a summer course in new music at Darmstadt in 1951, where he became fascinated with serialism. The following year he studied under Messiaen in Paris and composed several groundbreaking works that catapulted him to the forefront of new music. 

From the mid-1950s onwards, Stockhausen achieved major artistic successes with his freer interpretation of serialist principles. He experimented with electronic music at the WDR studio in Cologne (of which he was director in the 1960s), and elsewhere with the position of the orchestra and audience, with extreme tempos and with music from all over the world. In 1964 an ensemble was formed to focus solely on the performance of his works, and in 1970 he established his own publishing company.

During the 1970s Stockhausen’s music took on a cosmic dimension, expressing his sense of kinship with the cosmos, nature and fellow man. His Licht (1977-2003) is a cycle of seven monumental operas spanning the seven days of the week and intended to encapsulate the whole of life. From 2003 until his death, Stockhausen subsequently worked on Klang, a comparable cycle on the hours of the day.



musical direction
Kathinka Pasveer
stage director
Pierre Audi
sets and light
Urs Schönebaum
Wojciech Dziedzic
Chris Kondek, Robi Voigt
Renee Jonker
Klaus Bertisch
musical and dramaturgical consultant
Suzanne Stephens-Janning
educational advisor
Cristiano Melli
Jeffrey Skidmore
(Nederlands Kamerkoor)
Daniel Reuss
(Cappella Amsterdam)
artistic producer / coordinator
Sigi Giesler
soloists, instrumental soloists, helicopter pilots, students from the MA aus LICHT, students Royal Conservatoire The Hague

Nederlands Kamerkoor
Cappella Amsterdam
remaining credits part 3

This performance was made possible with support by