Massenet's Thaïs

Jean-Louis Grinda (stage director), Jean-Yves Ossonce (conductor) — With Marina Rebeka (Thaïs), Ludovic Tézier (Athanaël), Jean-François Borras (Nicias) …

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Jean-Louis Grinda — Stage director

Marina Rebeka — Thaïs

Ludovic Tézier — Athanaël

Jean-François Borras — Nicias

Philippe Kahn — Palémon

Marie Gautrot — Albine

Cassandre Berthon — Crobyle

Valentine Lemercier — Myrtale

Jennifer Courcier

Jean-Yves Ossonce — Conductor

Program notes

"Dare to come, you who defy Venus!" cries Thaïs, the priestess of Venus, to ascetic monk Athanaël, determined to save her soul by converting her to Christianity. This challenge precipitates the action of Thaïs, Massenet's operatic masterpiece, staged here by Jean-Louis Grinda at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo with Jean-Yves Ossonce conducting!

Athanäel's attempts to save Thaïs from eternal damnation lead him to an unexpected fate as the young priestess, bored with her life of pleasures, aspires to something greater. Convinced by Athanaël's entreaties, she ends up devoting herself to God and dying in a convent—to the great sorrow of Athanaël, who realizes too late his love for her, repudiating his vows and asserting that "nothing is true but life and the love of human beings." Massenet's rich emotional landscape opposes two complex characters with divergent motivations who briefly cross paths on their way to opposite destinies… Celebrated soloists Marina Rebeka and Ludovic Tézier more than do justice to this sublime score, a veritable treasure of French opera.

Photo © Alain Hanel - Opéra de Monte-Carlo 2021

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