Morgen und Abend

Year of composition
Scored for
for soli, choir and orchestra
Georg Friedrich Haas
Jon Fosse
Hinrich Schmidt-Henkel

Olai (Schauspieler)
Die Hebamme* (Sopran)
Johannes (Bariton)
Erna (Alt)
Signe* (Sopran)
Peter (Tenor)

* Die Hebamme und Signe müssen von derselben Sängerin gesungen werden

3 3 3 3 – 4 2 2 1 – str, timp, perc(2), acc
Instrumentation details

1st flute (+1stpicc)
2nd flute (+2ndpicc)
3rd flute (+3rdpicc)
1st oboe
2nd oboe
cor anglais (+3rdob)
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb
bass clarinet in Bb (+cl(Eb))
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
4th horn in F
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
1st trombone
2nd trombone
1st percussion
2nd percussion
violin I (12 players)
violin II (10 players)
viola (8 players)
violoncello (8 players)
contrabass (6 players)

Commissioned by

Composition commission by the Royal Opera House, and Deutsche Oper Berlin with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation


World Premiere

Location: Royal Opera House London / Great Britain
Date: 13.11.2015
Orchestra: Royal Opera House Orchestra
CHoir: Royal Opera Chorus
Conductor: Michael Boder
Scenery: Graham Vick
Main soloists: Olai, Klaus Maria Brandauer; Johannes, Christoph Pohl; Signe/Midwife, Sarah Wegener; Peter, Will Hartmann; Erna, Helena Rasker

Work introduction

Georg Friedrich Haas in an interview on his opera Morgen und Abend.

Jon Fosse tells the story of Johannes the fisherman, a simple man in the autumn of his years. He recalls his past life, the two people who meant most to him – his wife and his friend Peter, who have both long since passed away. Johannes’ yearning will come to an end on this day. When his daughter comes to check on him the following morning, she finds him dead.


Not much happens, but Georg Friedrich Haas’s new opera is a mesmerising evocation of the great hereafter. (Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, 22 November 2015)

[…] so conceptually unique and so unusual that its originality will confound many. (Anne Ozorio, Opera Today, 14 November 2015)

Although little or no change in dynamic happens throughout, the soundscapes are spectacularly eerie, casting quite a mood in the vast hall and filling the space with atmospheric emotion. It is incredible to see such a huge orchestra employed in such a way, each instrument being used in a more creative and unusual way to create these unfamiliar sounds. (Lydia Lakemoore, A Younger Theatre, 15 November 2015)

Brandauer has called the opera a Gesamtkunstwerk, a fitting description for its unified artistic vision, even if comparisons with Wagner (or any other opera composer) are beside the point. (Gavin Dixon, bachtrack, 14 November 2015)

The cumulative effect of words, music and our own thoughts, however, is extremely powerful and, although it is possible that some people may be left feeling cold by this opera, we were thoroughly engaged and moved to a remarkable degree. (Sam Smith, musicOHM, 15 November 2015)

But if you are susceptible to Haas’s musical language it will creep under your skin as it did mine. (Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage, 14 November 2015)

Ensembles that have played this work

Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Royal Opera House Orchestra
Philharmonisches Orchester Heidelberg

An article at Universal Edition Music Salon