Rebirth of an Opera: Persée in the Court of Atelier, is a two-hour performance documentary focusing on the resurrection of a three hundred year old French Baroque musical gem. Persée, composed by Jean-Baptiste Lully for Louis XIV, tells the story of Perseus's promise to decapitate the monster Medusa in return for the hand of the princess Andromeda in marriage.
Our cameras capture the internationally acclaimed Canadian company, Opera Atelier – featuring the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra & Chamber Choir conducted by Hervé Niquet, as it remounts the lyric-tragedy on the stage of the Elgin Theatre in Toronto. Richly layered, the performance documentary presents viewers with rehearsals of specific scenes from the opera juxtaposed with excerpts from the corresponding stage production. Intimate interviews with Canadian and French musicologists, theatre historians, Baroque dance specialists, and the artists of Opera Atelier will provide a twenty-first century audience with perspective and dimension.
Beginning in the Versailles Opera House where Persée was last performed over two hundred years ago, our film guides viewers through an intense, passionate, and energizing experience from Persée's origins to its contemporary remounting.
As the closing scenes of Persée unfold on the Elgin Theatre stage in front of a live audience, viewers witness the results of Opera Atelier's rigorous musical archaeology in all its restored glory. But beyond entertainment and enlightenment, viewers will be privy to Atelier's creative alchemy transforming the art of a moment in history into a distinctively contemporary, proudly Canadian, staged event: the rebirth of an opera.
Hervé Niquet, Marshall Pynkoski – Cyril Auvity (Perseus), Marie Lenormand (Andromède) – Opera Atelier