all works published by Casa Ricordi; see contacts

See: Time, possession & ventriloquism in my operas (lecture text with video excerpts, Berlin, June 2017)

Tree of Codes (2013-15)


Download detailed information: Liza Lim – Tree of Codes information and libretto
Also see blog page for reviews and other interviews

‘Cut-outs in time’, an opera
for soprano, high baritone, singer/clarinettist, fifteen other musicians (also vocalising), electronics + theatre performers

Composer & librettist: Liza Lim
An opera about bloodlines and memory, time, erasure and illumination based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes and Bruno Schulz’ Street of Crocodiles

Libretto based upon Tree of Codes written by Jonathan Safran Foer © first published 2010 by Visual Editions; Bruno Schulz’ Street of Crocodiles, English translation by Celina Wieniewska; Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Erlkönig and the writings of Michel Foucault.
Opera commissioned by Oper Köln, Ensemble musikFabrik and HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste, Dresden and in co-operation with the Akademie der Künste der Welt Cologne.

Premiere, 9 April 2016, Staatenhaus, Cologne (Also, 12,14,18,20 April)
Emily Hindrichs (Adela); Christian Miedl (Son/Doctor); Carl Rosman (Mutant Bird); performers from Company Numero23Prod.; musicians of
Ensemble Musikfabrik conducted by Clement Power, directed by Massimo Furlan
Also, 25 October 2016, TONLAGEN Festival, Hellerau, Dresden

Octopus couple



The Oresteia (1991-93)
Memory theatre (opera) in 7 parts after Aeschylus
For 6 voices, 11 instruments and dancer
Libretto by Liza Lim and Barrie Kosky after Aeschylus, Sappho and Tony Harrison
(in English). For soprano, 2 mezzo soprano (mezzo soprano 2 also plays stage ‘cello), counter tenor, tenor, baritone & dancer (also vocalising)

Fl/Picc, Ob/Cor Ang, Cl/Bass Cl, Tpt/Picc Tpt, Tbn. Turkish Baglama Saz
(played by mandolinist) Electric Guitar, Perc, Vla/Vla d’amore, Vc, D bass
Duration: 75′, Score (136022), Ricordi Milano

Commissioned by ELISION; Premiere: 16 May 1993, Theatreworks, Melbourne

The Oresteia (Melbourne, 1993)

Elision Ensemble and Treason of Images, conductor Sandro Gorli.
singers: Jeannie van de Velde, Julie Edwardson, Deborah Kayser, Andrew Muscat Clark, Tyrone Landau, Grant Smith; dancer: Shelley Lasica
directed by Barry Kosky, stage designer Peter Corrigan, choreographer Shelley Lasica


Yuè Lìng Jié (Moon Spirit Feasting) (1997-99)

Moon Spirit Feasting (Deborah Kayser, Melissa Madden Gray, Orren Tanabe), Hebbel Theatre Berlin, 2002

Chinese ritual street opera in 7 parts For 3 singers, 9 instruments and live electronics. Fl/Picc/Bass Fl, Cl/Bass Cl, Alto Sax/Bar Sax, Tpt/Flugel Hn, 2 Perc, Koto, Er-hu, Vc

Libretto by Beth Yahp (in English and Chinese). Characters: Chang-O, soprano Queen Mother of the West, mezzo soprano, Hou Yi/Monkey King, baritone

Duration: 75′, Score (138448) Ricordi Milano

Jointly Commissioned by the Adelaide and Melbourne Festivals with support
from the Major Festivals Initiative, the Australia Council and Arts Queensland
Premiere: 15 March 2000, Adelaide Festival, Torrens River barge
ELISION Ensemble, conductor Simon Hewett
Singers: Deborah Kayser, Melissa Madden Gray, Orren Tanabe,
Directed by Michael Kantor, stage designer Dorotka Sapinska,
choreographer Melissa Madden Gray

Chang-O Flies to the Moon (Deborah Kayser), Brisbane 2006

Opera Seasons:

Adelaide Festival, 2000
Melbourne Festival, 2002
Hebbel Theatre Berlin, 2002
Zurich Theatre Spektakel, 2002
Saitama Arts Centre, Tokyo, 2002
Brisbane Festival, 2006


The Navigator (2007-08)
Opera in six scenes and a prelude. Libretto by Patricia Sykes
For 5 singers, 16 instrumentalists and electronics
Duration: c 90′, Ricordi London
Commissioned by Brisbane Festival, Melbourne International Festival of the Arts and ELISION with funding from the Major Festivals Initiative
Premiere: 29 July 2008, Brisbane Festival, Judith Wright Centre
Singers: Deborah Kayser (Angel of History), Talise Trevigne (The Beloved),
Andrew Watts (The Navigator), Omar Ebrahim (The Fool), Philip Larsen (The Crone)
ELISION Ensemble, conductor Manuel Nawri
Directed by Barrie Kosky, stage designer Alice Babidge

Video Link: Angel of History (end of Scene 1)
Video of the full opera can be found here

The Navigator. Omar Ebrahim, Philip Larson, Deborah Kayser, Andrew Watts

Opera Seasons:

Brisbane Festival, 2008
Melbourne Festival, 2008
Moscow Chekhov International
Theatre Festival, 2009
Festival d’Automne à Paris (in concert), 2009

The Navigator, Brisbane 2008