L’Enigma di Lea – a new opera by Benet Casablancas

L’Enigma di Lea – a new opera by Benet Casablancas

On February 9, a new opera by Catalan composer Benet Casablancas and librettist Rafael Argullol entitled L'Enigma di Lea will premiere at the Gran Teatre del Liceu. Commissioned by the renowned Barcelona house, the opera follows the story of the eponymous Lea, an immortal forced to wander through time and space under surveillance from two monstrous beings. It is a story of a love, pain, desire and passion.

Mezzo-soprano Allison Cook (Salome, ENO, 2018 / Emilie, Salzberger Landestheater, 2014 / Wozzeck, Royal Opera House, 2013) will sing the title role alongside countertenor Xavier Sabata and baritone, José Antonio López. Conductor Josep Pons and stage director Carme Portaceli will bring Casablancas’ challenging score to life in four performances from February 9-13. 

Book Tickets to L'Enigma di Lea

Brief Synopsis

At the heart of L’Enigma di Lea is a secret. Lea, a creature who has belonged to God and exists to serve his divine pleasure. But she has seen too much and knows too much. As a result, she is forced to wander aimlessly through space and time, living in both the past and in the present. Argullol’s tale is an adventure across the boundaries of the world, both from a physical and spiritual point of view. Lea encounters different characters and, in her confrontations with them, examines tensions between death and immortality, consciousness and instinct, sexuality and mysticism. But threading through all of that is a unique love story of personal and epic proportions.


Lea: Allison Cook
Ram: José Antonio López
First Lady: Sara Blanch
Second Lady: Anaïs Masllorens
Third Lady: Marta Infante
Millebocche: Sonia de Munck

Milleocchi: Felipe Bou
Dr. Schicksal: Xavier Sabata
Michele: David Alegret
Lorenzo: Antonio Lozano
Augusto: Juan Noval-Moro

Artistic Team
Music: Benet Casablancas
Libretto: Rafael Argullol

Conductor: Josep Pons
Chorus Director: Conxita Garcia
Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu

Stage Director: Carme Portaceli
Choreography: Ferran Carvajal
Set Design: Paco Azorín
Costumes: Antonio Belart
Lighting: Ignasi Camprodon
Video: Miquel Àngel Raió

Benet Casablancas (b.1956)
Casablancas studied in Barcelona and Vienna, and he graduated from the University of Barcelona with a PhD in musicology. His music, firmly rooted in the great modernist tradition, is notable for its great individuality, structural complexity and extraordinary richness of textural detail. Critics praise his concern for balancing constructional rigour and expressive strength, lyricism, dramatic character and whimsical register.
His works are performed regularly all over the world by leading ensembles such as the London Sinfonietta, Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, Ensemble 13, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Belgian National Orchestra, The Tokyo Sinfonietta, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Spanish National Orchestra. In 2013 he was appointed first composer in residence for the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and L´Auditori and was awarded with the most prestigious composition prize in Spain: the National Music Prize, granted by the Spanish Ministry of Culture. 

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