Pelléas et Mélisande, Debussy – Opera

Philippe Jordan, Robert Wilson – Stéphane Degout (Pelléas), Elena Tsallagova (Mélisande), Anne Sofie von Otter (Geneviève), Vincent le Texier (Golaud) – Opéra national de Paris

Debussy's masterpiece, for the first time conducted by the Paris Opera's music director Philippe Jordan, in the fairy staging and sets by Robert Wilson. With Stéphane Degout, Elena Tsallagova, Vincent le Texier and Anne Sofie von Otter.

When Prince Golaud (Vincent le Texier), grandson of the aging King of Allemonde, meets the young and beautiful Mélisande (Elena Tsallagova) – a mysterious creature with long hair – he knows nothing about her. Though, he marries her. A few months later, Golaud announces his wedding to his dear brother Pelléas (Stéphane Degout), who seems to be falling in love with the young woman...

Before discovering Maeterlinck's play, Debussy said of the opera he dreamt of composing: "Music begins when words are powerless to express; music is perfect for the inexpressible; I would like it to seem to come out of the shadows and, at times, to go back, always discreet." Thanks to Maeterlinck's characters, to his highly precise and very vague language, so cruel and so apt, Debussy was able to realise the drama of his dreams. A fateful enchantment holds sway over the castle of Allemonde. No sooner does Golaud find Mélisande in the forest and bring her to the kingdom of his ancestors than they find themselves unable to leave, chained to a place that belongs, however, nowhere. The castle is racked by desolation and decay. The park seems to die under the weight of invisible darkness. The sun barely manages to break through and cast light on the miraculous yet abandoned fountain which used to heal the eyes of the blind and whose waters appear to be bottomless. From the walls one can see the sea, and, at last, the clear sky. But there are also underground tunnels leading to the centre of the earth, suddenly reminding us that we are forever walking over chasms. Debussy's masterpiece is conducted for the first time by Philippe Jordan.

This opera was broadcast live on medici.tv.

Linked event :

Robert Wilson stage director, set designer, lighting
Frida Parmeggiani costumes
Heinrich Brunke lighting
Holm Keller dramaturgy
Giuseppe Frigeni co-stage director
Stephanie Engeln
Alessandro di Stefano chorus master


Stéphane Degout (Pelléas)
Vincent le Texier (Golaud)
Franz Josef Selig (Arkel)
Jérôme Varnier (Un Médecin, Le Berger)
Elena Tsallagova (Mélisande)
Anne Sofie von Otter (Geneviève)
Julie Mathevet (Le petit Yniold)


Paris Opera Orchestra
Philippe Jordan musical direction


Nicolas Joel (Directeur de l'Opéra national de Paris)

Duration : 02 h 48 min
Location : Opéra Bastille (Paris, France)
Recording date : 16/03/2012
Production date : 2012
Production : © Idéale Audience / NHK
Available version(s) : EN, FR



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