Journey of Hope

Journey of Hope

Opera by Christian Jost

A giant made of water fell on the mountains, And the valley rolled with dogs and lilies. The body, with the purple shadow of my hands, Was, dead on the shore, a frozen archangel.

Federico García Lorca Diván del Tamarit (1934)

Infos & Cast


Infos & Cast

Opera by Christian Jost
Libretto by Káta Weber after the movie Reise der Hoffnung by Xavier Koller
World premiere

28, 30, 31 March and 4 April 2023 – 8pm
2 April 2023 – 3pm
Tickets go on sale November 1, 2022

Family friendly

Musical Director Gabriel Feltz
Stage Director Kornél Mundruczó
Scenography and costumes Monika Pormale
Lighting Designer Felice Ross
Dramaturgy Káta Weber

Haydar, the father Kartal Karagedik
Meryem, the mother Rihab Chaieb
Matteo, a trucker Ivan Thirion
Haci Baba, a Mafioso Denzil Delaere
A doctor Julieth Lozano
A farmer Omar Mancini

Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

Sponsored by


This new opera, based on the film of the same name by Swiss director Xavier Koller, tells the story of a Kurdish family that abandons kind and country to try to get into paradise, i.e., Switzerland. Like a mirage, this paradise fades away with each step forward and ends up disappearing completely in a snowstorm. Behind the characters’ individual stories, is history in subtext: the history of worlds divided, of bureaucracy, of exploitation of others. Once the family is severed from its roots, it spirals downwards into a brutal world where human and natural powers end up destroying their every hope. More than 30 years ago, we were watching Journey to Hope beat the frontrunner Cyrano de Bergerac for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film — to date, the only Swiss feature film to win this distinction — and the topic hasn’t lost any of its relevance. Migrants are all over the media but mostly on the seas and in asylum seekers’ centers. More than 30 years ago, a family’s future was sealed by the mountains. Today, people meet their destiny at sea. But for those of us who do not have to make this kind of journey, the story is little more than a parable. Who better to stage this new opera than Kornél Mundruczó, already seen at the opera in Geneva with his productions of The Makropoulos Case (2020) and Sleepless (2022)? The Hungarian film and theatre director shows his socially and dramatically innovative projects all over the stages ofEurope and reminds us that this is not just a story but a daily reality for all those who are forced to leave their homeland, for all those who are waiting to be someone again, for those who have no land under their feet, no country in their dreams and only paradise in their eyes. The music of this journey into despair, the first of our productions to be cancelled by the 2020 COVID lockdown, is the work of German composer Christian Jost, known for his operatic adaptation of Hamlet in Berlin or The Red Lantern in Zurich. His distinctive orchestral writing has the epic proportions of film music and is full of powerful rhythms and great emotions, almost defining a new genre somewhere between opera and symphony. Conductor Gabriel Feltz, a specialist of the contemporary repertoire, joins a bespoke cast, featuring Turkish baritone Kartal Karagedik and Tunisian-Canadian mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb, in the roles of the father and mother. Who knows what lost paradise they might discover together?




Voyage at La Plage

Atelier public 18.3.2023
Brunch 19.3.2023
Conference 22.3.2023
Apéropéra 23.3.2023
En coulisse 31.3.2023
Intropéra 45 minutes before each performance
Kornél Mundruczó at la Comédie de Genève


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Légende photo
Des réfugiés débarquent sur l’île grecque de Kos. Grèce, 2015
© Paolo Pellegrin