Titus Engel will conduct Olivier Messiaen's Saint François d'Assise from 11 June, an opera that not only goes beyond the usual dimensions of the orchestra, but in the Stuttgart production by Anna-Sophie Mahler also includes the urban space and nature in a kind of pilgrimage.

Hardly any work in the history of music demands a larger orchestration than Olivier Messiaen's only opera, premiered in 1983. "There is a very large string section, lots of wind instruments, a large percussion arsenal and then Messiaen's special instruments, the three Ondes Martenot. These are prototypes of electronic instruments," explains Titus Engel, who will conduct Saint François d'Assise at the five performances on 11, 22 and 25 June and 2 and 9 July. Baritone Michael Mayes will sing the highly demanding title role; the role of Engel will be taken by soprano Beate Ritter.