Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre (1974–77) is one of the most successful operas of the 20th century in terms of the number of performances. Originally, Ligeti had intended to compose an ‘anti-opera’ in the manner of Kagel's Staatstheater, but changed his fundamental compositional approach during the process of composing the work. He realised that a more traditional opera with a clear narrative (unlike Kagel's avant-garde opera) was more suitable, and it therefore became necessary for him to transform his style to one in which the text was audible to an audience. As a result there is very little of his mature micropolyphonic technique in the resulting work, but rather there is an exploration of music from the past, and the use of parody. In composing his opera Ligeti revitalised his approach through a re-engagement with history, but combined with a modernist rigour; thus he was able to create a new and fruitful musical language, and to transform his compositional technique.