A story to be read, acted and danced, in two parts
Music by Igor Stravinsky
Libretto by Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz
First performance: 28 September 1918 at the Théâtre Municipal in Lausanne
“A crazy undertaking”: this is how Igor Stravinsky defined the Histoire du soldat, a theatrical plot with few instruments or characters, an opera without song, a narration without scenes.
Composed during the last few days of the first world war, the plot is inspired by two Russian fables and tells the story of a soldier, Joseph, who makes a deal with the Devil: in exchange for his violin, he is transported into the future, where he discovers that his girlfriend has married another man, with whom she has had a son. The useless riches that he obtains are returned to the Devil, beaten in a game of cards. But one cannot beat the Devil.