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Pelléas et Mélisande

This listing is in the past
Royal College of Music: Britten TheatrePrince Consort Road, London, Greater London, SW7 2BS, United Kingdom
Dates/times in London time zone
Programme
Debussy, Claude (1862-1918)Pelléas et Mélisande (Arr Annelies Van Parys)
Performers
English Touring Opera
Jonathan BermanConductor
James ConwayDirector
Oliver TownsendSet Designer
Jonathan McGovernBaritonePelléas
Susanna HurrellSopranoMélisande
Stephan LogesBass-baritoneGolaud
Michael DruiettBaritoneArkel
Lauren ZolezziSopranoYniold
Helen JohnsonMezzo-sopranoGeneviève
English Touring Opera Orchestra

'Music begins where words are powerless. Music is made for the inexpressible.’

There is no other opera like Pelléas et Mélisande. For years Debussy searched for the perfect drama to set, and once he saw the strange, compelling play by Maurice Maeterlinck he had no doubt that this was it. The resulting marriage of music and drama is sensuous, mysterious, utterly captivating. For no other opera is the sensation of being ‘under a spell’ so applicable.

In a way, the drama is simple: a very intense widower brings home a simple girl, and marries her; when there are signs of her attachment to his young half-brother, he is violently jealous. But this is one of those dramas where what is unsaid is as important as what is said – and this is where Debussy’s wonderful score makes its magic. The mysterious setting of the remote castle by the sea, the terrific tension as the childlike lovers approach their doom, and the profound examination of character and fate all do their work: Pelléas et Mélisande affects everyone who sees it in an unforgettable way.

Belgian composer Annelies Van Parys’s sensitive, transparent arrangement has been much praised on the continent, and receives its UK premiere in this production, directed by James Conway with Jonathan McGovern and Stephan Loges in the central roles.

New production, sung in French with English surtitles

English Touring Opera
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