Great Performances (1971– )
5 user

Oedipus Rex 

A son is born to a young couple. The father, motivated by jealousy, takes the baby into the desert to be abandoned. The child is rescued, named Oedipus by King Polybus and Queen Merope of ... See full summary »


Julie Taymor


Jean Cocteau (libretto), Sophocles (play) | 2 more credits »

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Philip Langridge Philip Langridge ... Oedipus
Jessye Norman ... Jocasta
Min Tanaka ... Oedipus Dancer
Bryn Terfel Bryn Terfel ... Creon
Harry Peeters Harry Peeters ... Tiresias
Robert Swensen Robert Swensen ... Shepherd
Michio Tatara Michio Tatara ... Messenger
Kayoko Shiraishi Kayoko Shiraishi ... The Speaker
Katerina Bakatsaki Katerina Bakatsaki ... Saito Kinen Festival Dancers
Michael Curry Michael Curry ... Saito Kinen Festival Dancers
Toyosaburo Hanayagi Toyosaburo Hanayagi ... Saito Kinen Festival Dancers
Hisako Horikawa Hisako Horikawa ... Saito Kinen Festival Dancers
Asako Hotta Asako Hotta ... Saito Kinen Festival Dancers
Yayoe Inage Yayoe Inage ... Saito Kinen Festival Dancers
Hanako Kitazawa Hanako Kitazawa ... Saito Kinen Festival Dancers


A son is born to a young couple. The father, motivated by jealousy, takes the baby into the desert to be abandoned. The child is rescued, named Oedipus by King Polybus and Queen Merope of Corinth and raised as their own son. When Oedipus learns of a prophecy foretelling that he will kill his father and marry his mother, he leaves Corinth believing that Polybus and Merope are his true parents. Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






UK | Japan


Latin | Japanese

Release Date:

26 May 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ozawa Seiji Special: Saitou Kinen Festival Matsumoto - Opera-Oratorio 'Edipusu-Ou' Stravinsky sakkyoku See more »

Filming Locations:

Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

15 May 2012 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

What a fantastic performance. I admit I am not the biggest Stravinsky fan, though he is growing on me all the time, I do acknowledge his importance in music and would never question it, but Oedipus Rex is extraordinary and ranks as his best work with The Firebird not close behind. I cannot fault this performance at all really. The costumes and sets are stunning, and the staging is reserved yet artistic and maintains Oedipus Rex's emotional impact. The whole performance is beautifully photographed as well, never static or distracting. The music is riveting, and the powerful orchestral playing and Seji Ozawa's firm conducting are equally so. The performances I cannot fault either, Phillip Langridge plays Oedipus with his usual dramatic commitment and not always beautiful but still wonderful, Jessye Norman is a dramatically riveting and stately Jocaste, Kayoko Shiraishi's monologues in Japanese are delivered with such pathos and a young Bryn Terfel sings as virile as ever before. Overall, an amazing performance of Stravinsky's masterpiece. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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