Stravinsky - The Rake's Progress, November 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 2009. Royal Theatre. In English with English surtitles

The Rake's Progress

November 12, 17, 19, and 21, 2009, at 8 pm
Matinée November 14, at 3 pm


Music by Igor Stravinsky
Libretto by W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman

A devilish tale, seductively sung

Led by a sinister companion, a young man abandons his sweetheart for the dangerous excitement of London. When he gambles his life, he loses his mind – but his soul is saved through true love.

Exuberantly bizarre and heart-breakingly tender, The Rake's Progress is part fairy tale, part cautionary fable. At once a love story and a zany adventure, it is also an ode to the redemptive power of love and music – and a fabulous theatrical romp. Stravinsky's score is a revelation, quirky, and seductive. Astonishingly sweet and lyrical, spiked with idiosyncratic twists of harmony and rhythm, this music is as irresistible as temptation.

A simple country boy got chewed up by the temptations of the big city. His girlfriend remained faithful to the end. It was pure opera – and it broke my heart.
Musicologist David Schiff

First Performance September 11, 1951, Teatro La Fenice, Venice

In English with English Surtitles

The performance is approximately 2 hours, 40 minutes, with one intermission.

Inside The Rake's Progress