Antikrist (English: Antichrist) is the only opera by Danish composer Rued Langgaard. It was composed in 1921–23 and reworked in 1926–30, but despite several attempts by the composer to have it performed, the work was not premiered until many years after Langgaard's death. Today, it is considered Langgaard's principal work and is included in the Danish Culture Canon; it was the first Danish opera recorded on DVD in 2002.
The first version of Antikrist was completed in 1923 and submitted to the Royal Danish Theatre that year. It was rejected then and several times later because of censorship problems.
In 1926 the composer began a complete rewrite of the work. The text, which had been the overriding reason for the rejection, was radically rewritten. The new version was completed in 1930, after which Langgaard again tried to get it accepted at the Royal Theatre. It didn't help; it was rejected and was turned back again in 1935, again with the text as the primary criticism.
Langgaard was slightly more successful in getting the work accepted by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, where the conductor Launy Grøndahl worked on the opera in 1940. The work however was not performed until 1980 by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra under Michael Schønwandt. The first recording was made in 1988 by Ole Schmidt and the Copenhagen Philharmonic.
Antikrist was premiered as a scenic opera in 1999 at the Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck, on the initiative of the Danish conductor Niels Muus. Three years later the opera was premiered in Denmark in a collaboration between DR and the Royal Theatre. The performance that took place in the Riding School at Christiansborg in 2002 was released on DVD in 2005. In September 2015, Antikrist was performed at the annual Langgaard Festival in Ribe.
- This article was initially translated from Danish Wikipedia