Who was Claude Debussy, this great musician of the Fin de siècle and the composer of the opera PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE? The Festival d’Aix-en Provence presents his life, times and his works in comic strip form.
PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE, Claude Debussy’s only complete opera, returns to Festival d’Aix-en-Provence after a 40-year absence. Inspired by Maurice Maeterlinck’s play, the mysterious story of two fallen lovers is presented in a new production filled with dream-like realism.
In the depths of a forest, Prince Golaud meets the young, beautiful Mélisande weeping besides a fountain. Although he knows nothing about her, he marries her and take her to Allemonde to the dark ancestral castle where his grand-father the King Arkel reigns. Here Mélisande meets Pelléas, the strange half-brother of her husband. The love story that ensues between them spells tragedy. Golaud, consumed by jealousy, kills his brother while Mélisande dies slowly after giving birth to a daughter. Tortured by doubt, Golaud find neither the truth nor forgiveness in last breath of his young wife.
In 1892, the symbolist author Maurice Maeterlinck published PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE, a play characterised by radiance and mysterious shadows. Claude Debussy was immediately taken with the sensuous and dream-like atmosphere of this drama. Magnifying the text of the Belgian author, Debussy created a score filled with delicate, murmured music, symphonic interludes with audacious harmonies and atmospheric silences. PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE, one of the most beautiful operas ever written, was premiered in 1902. The five acts – as poetic as they are deathly – make up one of Debussy’s masterpieces. There is a suffocating beauty here, which left a profound mark on 20th century opera.
The director Katie Mitchell, in residence at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence since 2012, oversees this much-awaited production. Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra. As for Barbara Hannigan, Laurent Naouri and Stéphane Degout, they form eternal triad: wife, husband and lover.
Available until06 January 2017 at 23h59 CET
Due to legal limitations, we only can offer PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE to our audiences in Europe (excluding Russia and Turkey). We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.