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Paradise reloaded (Lilith)

Oper in 12 Bildern
Text von Albert Ostermaier
Edition: Performance material

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Lucifer has great difficulty in suppressing his rage when writing a farewell letter to God after having been expelled from heaven. While he is still formulating his accusation that God is a coward and fights like a child, a second outcast appears. The fallen angels recognise Lilith as the first wife of Adam and unsuccessfully attempt to warn Lucifer about her. Lilith immediately gives a sample of her superiority and manipulative powers. She whispers to Lucifer that Adam would be his last chance and he would have to find him. Lilith and Lucifer discover Adam and Eva in Paradise where Lilith offers Eve the forbidden fruit and infects her with the desire to see behind the mirror of Paradise. In the desert, Lucifer offers a wager to Adam: in order to prove that the human race is a failed experiment by God, Lucifer plans to take Adam through the sequence of human history. If Adam loses his belief in the human race, Lucifer will have won. He leads Adam and Eve through a dreamlike journey through the present and into the future. The scenes are dominated by violence, war and ultimately total enforced conformation. Lilith pits her entire strength on killing Eve in order to regain Adam for herself. ‚It must come to an end‘ Adam cries disillusioned. As Lucifer increasingly loses hold of the reins, he takes Lilith to task, asking her the nature of her objectives. She stresses the fact that she will be subject to no-one, not even the Devil. Back in the desert, Lilith allows herself to become pregnant by the unconscious Adam and plans to poison Eve. Lucifer undertakes a final attempt to regain power by not permitting Eve to die. Adam seizes Eve and plans to flee from the world with a jet construction. Lilith now tells Adam about her pregnancy and demands that he should kill Eve. Adam attempts to commit suicide and only gains new hope when Eve tells him that she is expecting his child. Now he is the one who desires to look behind the mirror: he leaves Paradise with Eve. Lucifer returns to heaven and the pregnant Lilith is left alone. (Axel Petri-Preis)


What if it had been Lilith and not Eve who had become the original mother of our civilisation? Not the self-sacrificing, maternal and pure Eve, but the strong-willed independent rebel Lilith? What would this alternative society have been like with its initial foundations in absolute equality between the sexes? Peter Eötvös does not search for the answer to this question in his opera, but the issue provides the conceptual framework of the composition. Lilith is determined to kill Eve, win back Adam and start life afresh. Lucifer proves to be a handy assistant for this undertaking and it is Lilith who whispers the suggestions for challenging Adam into Lucifer’s ear. It is also she who increasingly takes everything into her own hands and is cunning and manipulative in guiding the figures through the actions which she herself has initiated. Ultimately, Adam must choose between one of the two women and selects the apparently easier option: Eve, the woman who was created out of his rib with whom the concept of total equality between the sexes was precluded right from the start. Lilith remains behind alone. She is however pregnant and – just like Eve – is carrying the seeds of new life. Paradise Reloaded (Lilith) is the continuation and a reworking of Peter Eötvös’s opera Die Tragödie des Teufels. The composer himself admits that he was keen to shed more light on the figure of Lilith and place her at the centre of his opera. Albert Ostermaier wrote two completely new scenes (5 und 12) for Paradise Reloaded (Lilith) and Mari Mezei and Peter Eötvös undertook cuts, augmentations and changes to the text to transform the libretto into its final version. The expressive score displays numerous allusions and quotations and highlights the frequently grotesque plot of the work in strident colours. The two opposites Eve and Lilith are characterised by Peter Eötvös on the one hand through melismatic and at times vocalised vocal lines and on the other hand (particularly in Lilith’s two major solo appearances) through large intervallic leaps and a sheer inexhaustible range of expressive vocal effects. (Axel Petri-Preis)

Orchestral Cast

2 (1. auch Picc., 2. auch Altfl. u. Picc.) · 2 (2. auch Engl. Hr.) · 3 (2. auch Es-Klar. u. Bassklar., 3. auch Bassklar. u. Kb.-Klar.) · 2 (2. auch Kfg.) - 2 · 2 · 3 (1. Altpos., 2. Tenorpos. mit Quartventil, 3. Basspos.) · 1 - S. (2 P. · Glsp. · Crot. · 2 Burma Bells · Bell Tree · Röhrengl. · 2 Trgl. · dünnes Beck. · 2 Beckenpaare [klein/groß] · 3 hg. Beck. · 2 chin. Beck. · 2 Sizzle-Beck. · Cow Bell · Burma Gongs · 2 Tamt. · Tamb. · 2 Bong. · 2 kl. Tr. · 2 Tomt. · 2 Cong. · 2 gr. Tr. · 2 Guiro · Mar. · Caxixi · Clav. · 2 Banjos) (2 Spieler) - Akk. · Hfe. · Klav. · Cel. - Str. (10 · 8 · 6 · 6 · 4 [3. u. 4. fünfsaitig])


Eva · Sopran - Lilith · Mezzosopran - Adam · Tenor - Lucifer · hoher Bariton - Engel A · Tenor - Engel B · Bariton - Engel C · Bass - Chor der drei Frauen · hoher Sopran · Mezzosopran · Alt (alle 10 Sänger singen mit Microport)

More Information

Paradise reloaded (Lilith)
Oper in 12 Bildern
Text von Albert Ostermaier
eingerichtet von Mari Mezei und Peter Eötvös
Performance material
Schott Music
Year of composition:
2012 - 2013
135 ′
World Premiere:
October 25, 2013 · Wien (A)
Halle E im Museumsquartier
Wien Modern 2013
Conductor: Walter Kobéra · amadeus ensemble-wien
Original staging: Johannes Erath · Costumes: Katrin Connan · Set desing: Katrin Connan
Organizer: Neue Oper Wien in Kooperation mit Wien Modern

Technical Details

Product number:
LS 5578-01
Delivery rights:

Preview/Media Contents



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