Dialogues and a Diary

Dialogues and a Diary

Dialogues and a Diary

Dialogues and a Diary

Excerpt

R.C.: What do you recall of the circumstances that led to the composition of Oedipus Rex ? To what extent did you collaborate with Cocteau on the scenario and the text? What was your purpose in translating the libretto into Latin, and why Latin rather than Greek--or, if Latin, then why not directly from Greek? What were your original ideas for staging the work and why have they never been realized? What did you mean by opera-oratorio? How would you identify the religious character of the work, if you agree with those people who profess to hear religious elements in it? Would you discuss what you call the musical manners of the piece? And, what more can you contribute to performance knowledge, and to the history of the work in performance?

I.S.: I date the beginnings of my Oedipus Rex from September 1925, but at least five years earlier than that I had been aware of the need to compose a large-scale dramatic work. Returning from Venice to Nice that September, I stopped in Genoa to renew memories of the city in which I had spent my fifth wedding anniversary, in 1911. There, in a bookstall I saw a life of Francis of Assisi which I bought and, that night, read. To this reading I owe the formulation of an idea that had occurred to me often, though vaguely, since I had become . . .

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