Adel Abdessemed

The only opera ever written by Messaien, Saint François d’Assise describes the trajectory of the virtuous François of Assisi. Over the course of eight scenes, divided into three acts, to mirror the Holy Trinity, Messaien’s libretto traces the protagonists journey as he moves through the stages of devotion, grace, and sainthood.

This is Abdessemed’s first foray into the world of stage direction. The work of the artist is rooted in the turmoil of our planet; in terror, migration, violence, suffering, death and the loss of civility. Adel Abdessemed’s work dissolves polarities; between peace and adoration, hope and damnation, heaven and hell.

Having been delayed from opening in summer 2020, the opera will now be staged in April 2024 (11, 14, 16 and 18) at the Grand Théâtre de Génève.

Opera by Olivier Messiaen
Stage Director, set design, costumes and video by Adel Abdessemed
Musical direction by Jonathan Nott
Libretto by the composer after writings of Saint François d’Assise
First performed in Paris in 1983