Pelléas et Mélisande

Pelléas et Mélisande

Claude Debussy

DRAME LYRIQUE in five acts by Claude Debussy
Libretto by the composer based on Maurice Maeterlinck’s play
Premiered at the Opéra-Comique on 30 April 1902

Musical direction, Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Stage direction and design, Stéphane Braunschweig

Phillip Addis, Karen Vourc'h, Marc Barrard, Markus Hollop, Nathalie Stutzmann, Dima Bawab, Luc Bertin-Hugault, Pierrick Boisseau

accentus
Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique

Presentation

Nine years after he discovered the strange harshness of Maeterlinck’s playwriting, where each character essentially represents her/his own tragedy, Debussy composed his musical rendering of Pelléas and Mélisande drama. A drama in which the active silence that formed the dialogue background of the Flemish writer was replaced with a score Stéphane Mallarmé himself had acknowledged as the only one that could express unnamable truths. It took Maeterlinck many years to admit that the musician to whom he surrendered his work had succeeded in making it give forth its unutterable part.


With the support of:

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Cast

Musical direction, Sir John Eliot Gardiner
Stage direction and design, Stéphane Braunschweig
Costumes, Thibault Vancraenenbroeck
Lighting, Marion Hewlett
Dramaturge, Anne-Françoise Benhamou
Musical assistant, Philipp von Steinaecker
Stage direction collaborator, Georges Gagneré
Stage direction collaborator, Alexandre de Dardel
Costume assistant, Agnès Barruel
Lighting assistant, Patrice Lechevallier
Maquillage, Karine Guillem
Chef de chant, Nathalie Steinberg Pianist, Mathieu Pordoy
Choral director, Pieter Jelle de Boer

Pelléas, Phillip Addis
Mélisande, Karen Vourc'h
Golaud, Marc Barrard
Arkel, Markus Hollop
Geneviève, Nathalie Stutzmann
Yniold, Dima Bawab
A physician, Luc Bertin-Hugault
A shepherd, Pierrick Boisseau
Figurants : M. Max Delor, Mme Agnès Aubé, Mme Martine Demaret, Mme Sophie Dumont

accentus
Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique

Production, Opéra Comique
Coproducteur, Australia Opera (Sydney)
Associate co-producer, Palazzetto Bru Zane – Centre de musique romantique française


With the support of:

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Synopsis

Act I
On his way to wed a foreign princess, Golaud Prince of Allemonde comes across a woman, Mélisande, lost in a forest. He invites her to follow him.
Golaud’s mother, Geneviève, persuades the old king of Allemonde to allow her son to return to the castle with Mélisande whom he has married. In order to better welcome them, King Arkel refuses to let Pelléas, Golaud’s half brother, go and visit a sick friend. Besides, the castle harbors a dying man, Pelléas’s father. On her arrival, Mélisande is received by Geneviève and Pelléas.

Act II
Pelléas invites Mélisande for a tour in the park. While playing in the sun by a fountain, she drops her wedding ring into the water. At the same time, Golaud falls off his horse in the forest. Later on at his bedside, Mélisande tells him that she feels oppressed in the old castle. Noticing that she has lost her ring, Golaud flies into a rage. Mélisande pretends she lost it in a cave by the sea. Golaud sends her after it with Pelléas.

Act III
One evening Pelléas comes to see Mélisande under her window. Golaud breaks in upon the scene. He leads Pelléas down to the castle vaults to frighten him and asks him to avoid Mélisande in the future. Overcome by doubt, Golaud forces his young son of a previous marriage, Yniold, to spy out Pelléas and Mélisande.

Act IV
His father having recovered, Pelléas decides not to delay his journey any longer. He arranges for a tryst with Mélisande by the fountain. King Arkel rejoices at Mélisande’s pregnancy but Golaud, enraged with jealousy, ill-treats his wife. Alone in the park, Yniold has a gloomy premonition. Pelléas and Mélisande meet for the last time and confess their love for each other. Golaud, who was spying them, kills his brother and runs after Mélisande..

Act V
The newborn is alive and Mélisande is dying. Stricken with remorse, Golaud questions her but obtains neither the truth nor forgiveness with full knowledge of the facts.


With the support of:

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