The Sleeping Thousand

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October 2020
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A thousand Palestinian detainees go on hunger strike. To distract attention from their protest, the Israeli prime minister decides to sedate them all. Just then, however, the Israeli population begins to suffer from insomnia. Seeking to cure this inexplicable sleeplessness, the government sends an undercover agent into the world of the prisoners’ dreams. In their collective subconscious, however, nothing is what it seems.


In The Sleeping Thousand, the composer Adam Maor and the librettist Yonatan Levy present a work of intensely topical social criticism in relation to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the form of a fantasy epic. Scary sci-fi is interwoven with dreamlike parable, and contemporary electronica with traditional sounds from the Middle East. The result is an astonishingly accomplished debut opera, which took shape under the aegis of ‘enoa’, the European network of opera academies.

Program and cast

Conductor: ELENA SCHWARZ, ANTONIN REY*
Director: YONATAN LEVY
Set design: JULIEN BRUN
Costumes: ANOUK SCHILTZ
Lighting: OMER SHIZAF
Dramaturgy: AMIR FARJOUN


Prime Minister: TOMASZ KUMIĘGA NuritGAN-YA BEN-GUR AKSELROD SDAVID SALSBERY FRY A voice of the world: Minister of Agriculture / Demonstrator / Cantor: BENJAMIN ALUNNI


La Monnaie Chamber Music Ensemble


Production: FESTIVAL D’AIX-EN-PROVENCE
Co-production: LES THÉÂTRES DE LA VILLE DE LUXEMBOURG, CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN FOUNDATION (LISBOA), DE MUNT / L A MONNAIE, MUZIEKKAPEL KONINGIN ELISABETH / CHAPELLE MUSICALE REINE ELISABETH, IRCAM-CENTRE POMPIDOU


With the support of enoa and the Creative Europe programme of the European Union

La Monnaie

The Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie is an Opera house in Brussels, Belgium. Both of its names translate as Royal Theatre of the Mint.


Today the National Opera of Belgium, a federal institution, takes the name of the theatre in which it is housed. Therefore, la Monnaie or de Munt refers both to the structure as well as the opera company.


As Belgium's leading opera house it is one of the few cultural institutions which receives financial support from the federal government of Belgium. Other opera houses in Belgium, such as the Vlaamse Opera and the Opéra Royal de Wallonie, are funded by regional governments.

Johan Jacobs
© David Rehor – Millennium Images, UK
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