As a new era of artistic leadership at the New York Philharmonic was heralded by the appointment of Alan Gilbert as Music Director, Giants Are Small was invited to create an adaptation of György Ligeti’s surrealist opera Le Grand Macabre, not previously produced in New York.

In the context of a symphony orchestra, Giants Are Small combined opera singers, live animation, an enormous screen, a visual feast, and a riot of movement throughout the hall — this adaptation of a modern operatic masterpiece came to be seen as a new standard of how classical music and opera can be presented and made interesting to a broader audience.

The pioneering collaboration by Giants Are Small and Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic marked the beginning of an extraordinary creative sensation. The New York Times declared the sold-out production of Le Grand Macabre “a major event on the New York Cultural scene,” and “an instant Philharmonic milestone,” while New York Magazine called it “a multimedia spectacular,” and Opera News “a substantial hit.”

“Best Classical Performance of the Year”

New York Magazine

“A major event on the New York Cultural scene.”

The New York Times