While the theater is still haunted by the ghosts of the last Alcione performance, the first notes of Le Timbre d’argent by Saint-Saëns can be heard in the Petit Théâtre of the Opéra Comique.
Sitting around a large table, the artists follow the firm and graceful gestures of the music director François-Xavier Roth. “Faster or slower in the tempo” say some vocalists, “more ornaments in this repeat” the conductor suggests. This is how the score is being written during rehearsal. The notes from the piano already pervade the tragedy and sound like the toll of a fateful silver bell. Then a crucial question arises: should this hard to stage passage or that musically less interesting one be cut?
One can feel that some adjustments are still possible, and here lies the freedom left by a work whose recordings are scarce. The obvious complicity between the stage director Guillaume Vincent and François-Xavier Roth will make the compromise easier between the various aesthetic biases over the score of the Le Timbre d’argent.