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The Creation


18 – 23 Feb 2024

According to a poll reported in the press, 38% of Americans today still believe that the Earth in its current form was created less than 10,000 years ago. Such a figure testifies to the ferocity of creationism: the representation of the world we take for granted, based on the observation of scientific facts, is under attack from obscurantists on all sides.

Set to a libretto inspired by the Book of Genesis, Haydn's Creation gave the German oratorio its letters of nobility. On his return from London, where Handel's works had made a strong impression on him, the brilliant composer felt the urge to transcend the classicism of which he - along with Mozart and Beethoven - was the most illustrious exponent. Relating nothing less than the birth of the world from chaos to light, the work displays a rare harmonic audacity.

Then the sacred rays dispelled
the darkness of sinister night.
The Creation

The last thirty years have seen the emergence of a trend in opera: the staging of non-staged works, with great successes ranging from Schoenberg's Transfigured Night by Klaus Michael Grüber and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker to Romeo Castellucci's recent production of Mozart's Requiem. Oratorios are works imbued with an inner theatricality, whose staging opens up new areas of exploration for our sensibilities.

Kevin Barz is no doubt a familiar name to audiences in Nancy: a few seasons ago, this young German director was responsible for successfully delivering the first part of the Nancy Opera Xperience. He transformed the city into a giant opera house, staging operatic scenes in bus shelters, the Musée des Beaux-Arts, a bowling alley and a launderette. He is back with this no less original project. Taking up Haydn's oratorio in defiance of the creationists, he rereads Genesis in the light of our current knowledge of the history of the universe since the Big Bang: with light as the common thread, he draws up a thought-provoking reflection, at a time when the combat against fake news is becoming a daily sport.


  • Sun. 18 February 2024
    Opéra national de Lorraine
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  • Tue. 20 February 2024
    Opéra national de Lorraine
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  • Thu. 22 February 2024
    Opéra national de Lorraine
    Book now
  • Fri. 23 February 2024
    Opéra national de Lorraine
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1 h 30 without interval

5 — 85 €

in German, surtitles
All audiences from 11 years 

Introduction to the performance
45 minutes before the start of the performance (free of charge, upon presentation of ticket). 

Sing along
The Creation by a community choir
Fri. 26 January at 8pm
Salle Poirel
(free admission, subject to availability)

The February 22 performance offers a single price of 10€ for students and/or under 30 years old in the best categories!


Die Schöpfung (The Creation), oratorio

First performed at Burgtheater in Vienne on 19 March 1799


Gottfried van Swieten


Joseph Haydn

New production

 Opéra national de Lorraine


Théâtre des Champs-Elysées

Opéra national de Lorraine Orchestra and Chorus

Marta Gardolińska

Chorus conductor

Guillaume Fauchère

Assistant conductor

William Le Sage

Director and video

Kevin Barz

Set and Costume Design

Anika Wieners


Victor Egéa


Johannes Wagner


Julie Roset


Jonas Hacker


Sam Carl

See also