Giacomo Meyerbeer’s visit to Paris in 1825 was to revolutionise opera. By imposing the Grand Opera genre, the composer made History the pivotal theme of 19th century operatic productions. Les Huguenots is a monumental fresco featuring various impossible loves in the context of the Saint Bartholomew Massacre. First performed at the Paris Opera, the work celebrated its centenary there in 1936, after more than a thousand performances, before being stowed in the archives of the Palais Garnier – the “grande boutique”. For its revival, Andreas Kriegenburg places these timeless conflicts of love and religion in an immaculate setting in which the costumes appear yet more flamboyant and the victims’ blood more violently red.
Your reading: Les Huguenots