Where did the idea for this project come from?
Maëlle Dequiedt: When Myriam Mazouzi and Christian Schirm invited me to join the Paris Opera Academy, the idea occurred to us of bringing together scenes from the Shakespearean repertoire: an assemblage of heteroclite fragments, bridging the gap between very different eras and styles, between the Baroque period and the 20th century, from Purcell to Ambroise Thomas, from Bellini and Rossini to Britten.
How did you weave together a production from these fragments?
So the background of the play that each character comes from remains present in a slightly ghostly way?
M.D.: Yes, ghost plays, a nocturnal voyage through the works of Shakespeare. How can Juliet, Lady Macbeth and Desdemona cohabit in one dramatic space? Is it possible? Of course, there is no verbal encounter – they only articulate the texts assigned to them by Shakespeare. It’s more of a bodily and musical encounter. Only the final ensemble unites them, in an extract from The Tempest by Purcell.
Is this a production that says something about the theatre?
You have just spent a year in residence at the Paris Opera Academy. Where does your taste for musical theatre come from?
M.D.: From my musical training. I began music before theatre,
when I was little. I played the cello. I hesitated between a career in music
and a theatrical career. In the end, I told myself that the theatre was the
right place to bring it all together. In the theatre, one can incorporate
music, literature and all the other arts. When I left the National Theatre
School in Strasbourg, my final year evaluation production also had a musical
dimension: it was Trust Karaoké
Panoramique, based on a play by Falk Richter. The Karaoke theme was present
in the text as a form of rather vapid, artificial entertainment. The idea of
working on this form interested me. There was a grand piano on stage. There
will also be one in “Fragments nocturnes”.
Is the grand piano your hallmark?
As a young director, do you remember a production that really left its mark on you during your training?
Your reading: The Stuff of Shakespeare