Partition de cristal
“There is a virgin forest in each; a snowfield where even the print of birds’ feet is unknown,” wrote Virginia Woolf. Untouched terrain for opera to explore.
Paris “The world is constantly noisy, so when I go to the theater I want to be calmed down,” said Peter Sellars when working on the Only the Sound Remains, Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s most recent opus. Premiered in Amsterdam in 2016, the work draws on Japanese simplicity, as does the libretto, poet Ezra Pound’s adaptation of two Noh plays. The music, which is ethereal and atmospheric, endows the voices, including that of Philippe Jaroussky, with new colors. Processed by computers, they become by turns ghostly and angelic, spectral and luminous.
Only the sound remains
Moscou In January, Manon Lescaut, the heroine of Abbé Prévost’s novel who became, a century and a half later, that of the opera by Giacomo Puccini, will face the Moscow winter under the gilded decoration of the Bolshoi. After Anna Netrebko, who was the first to perform the role in this production in 2016, it is Ainhoa Arteta who will tackle the title role: a vocal duel between Russian diva and Spanish soprano?
Montpellier Under Danish conductor Michael Schønwandt, one of France’s most southern cities is staging a work that is doubly northern: Peer Gynt, by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, based on the play by his compatriot Henrik Ibsen. In this production in which the singers and actors are captured live on video, the young 19th-century antihero, performed by the baritone Philippe Estèphe, enters an ultra-connected world.
Les 12 et 13.01. Opéra Berlioz/Le Corum. Direction musicale : Michael Schønwandt. Mise en scène : Jean-Philippe Clarac et Olivier Deloeuil.www.opera-orchestre-montpellier.fr
© Hélène Pambrun