Gounod's La Nonne Sanglante (The Bloody Nun)

David Bobée (stage director), Laurence Equilbey (conductor) — With Michael Spyres (Rodolphe), Jodie Devos (Arthur), Marion Lebègue (The Nun)...

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David Bobée — Stage director

Michael Spyres — Rodolphe

Vannina Santon — Agnès

Marion Lebègue — The nun

Jodie Devos — Arthur

Jean Teitgen — Peter the Hermit

Luc Bertin-Hugault — The Baron of Moldaw

Enguerrand De Hys — Fritz, the night watchman

Olivia Doray — Anna

Pierre-Antoine Chaumien — Arnold

Chœur Accentus

Christophe Grapperon — Assistant conductor, Chorus Master

Insula orchestra

Laurence Equilbey — Conductor

Program notes

In a medieval Bohemia troubled by hereditary conflicts, Rodolphe defies his father and challenges his ancestors out of love for the rival clan’s daughter, offered as a pledge of peace to his own brother. But Agnès seems alarmingly like the ghost who haunts Moldaw’s castle...

Loosely adapted from Matthew Lewis's The Monk, a Gothic novel in vogue among the Romantics, the libretto for La Nonne sanglante on which Gounod composed his opera was the work of legendary librettist Eugène Scribe and Germain Delavigne. The opera’s modest but underwhelming success during a period of crisis for the Paris Opera contributed to the sacking of Paris Opera director Nestor Roqueplan, whose successor François Crosnier called the opera “filth” and cancelled the rest of its 1854 run.

At the Opéra Comique in 2018, Gounod’s opera comes roaring back to live thanks to three great enthusiasts of Romantic torments: renowned conductor Laurence Equilbey, stage director David Bobée, and tenor Michael Spyres, an outstanding Rodolphe. The production highlights the medieval character of the libretto while never coming off as dated—the weary warriors and wild women almost call to mind Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. A black and white world, stained red by the Nun’s blood-soaked dress…

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