Past screening

Licht – Stockhausen’s Legacy

Directed by: Oeke Hoogendijk
Runtime: 2hr 0min Year: 2022
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Directed by: Oeke Hoogendijk
Runtime: 2hr 0min Year: 2022
Country: Netherlands
Topics: Music
Last Screened: Sun 2nd Oct 2022

Karlheinz Stockhausen’s mammoth-opera opera contains 29 hours of music performed by 500 musicians and dancers spread out over 10 days. But his magnum opus was never staged - No opera company was ever brave (or rash) enough to produce it. Until now.

Karlheinz Stockhausen’s 29-hour opera Licht is considered the most radical, ambitious and impracticable composition in the history of music. The legendary and controversial composer’s magnum opus – which features hundreds of musicians and includes several helicopters – was deemed logistically impossible and never staged in his lifetime.

This film recreates Stockhausen’s musical universe through the Dutch National Opera’s ambitious attempt to finally stage Licht in 2019. As well as following behind-the-scenes of the fraught production, it examines the life of this singular, musical maverick, delving into his polyamorous lifestyle, his all-consuming creativity and his turbulent relationships. Illuminating for fans and newcomers alike, Oeke Hoogendijk’s well-crafted and entertaining film is a brilliant insight into the life of a creative pioneer.