Bluebeard's castle/​la voix humaine

Béla Bartók / Francis Poulenc

Palais Garnier - from 20 November to 12 December 2015

Bluebeard's castle

Opera in one act (1918)

Music
Béla Bartók
Libretto
Béla Balazs
Conductor
Esa-Pekka Salonen
Director
Krzysztof Warlikowski
Le Duc Barbe-Bleue
John Relyea
Judith
Ekaterina Gubanova

La Voix humaine

Tragédie lyrique in one act

Music
Francis Poulenc
Libretto
Jean Cocteau
Conductor
Esa-Pekka Salonen
Director
Krzysztof Warlikowski
Elle
Barbara Hannigan
Lui (rôle muet)
Claude Bardouil
Set design
Małgorzata Szczęśniak
Costume design
Małgorzata Szczęśniak
Lighting design
Felice Ross
Video
Denis Guéguin
Choreography
Claude Bardouil
Dramaturgy
Christian Longchamp

This production will be recorded for television.

A coproduction by the Paris Opera, Telmondis and Mezzo with support from the CNC and directed by Stéphane Metge.
Broadcast live on Mezzo on 10 December and on France Musique at a later date.

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about


"Beware, beware of my castle, beware of us both, Judith! - Bluebeard's Castle"

"If you did not love me and if you were clever, the telephone would become a terrible weapon that leaves no marks and makes no noise. - La Voix humaine"

Two dialogues which in reality are simply monologues. Because Judith, the sombre shadow-like fourth wife who appears “out of the heart of a star-studded night”, cannot be anything other than the wounded voice of Bluebeard’s subconscious, shut away in the windowless castle which is indissociable from his own psyche. And because She – but who is She and to whom is She speaking? – responds to the silence of the man who, at the other end of a broken telephone line, is perhaps not even there. Almost five decades separate the conception of Bluebeard’s Castle and that of La Voix humaine – even though Jean Cocteau’s stage play – used without adaptation in the libretto – in fact dates from 1930. In between lies half a century of profound soul-searching that saw the creation of Berg’s Wozzeck and then Lulu as well as Schönberg’s Moses und Aron. Nevertheless, the echo of Debussy’s Pelléas & Mélisande and his spoken-language-like prosody can be heard in the utterly different musical idioms of Bartók and Poulenc – the former composer propelled by the founding impetus of still infant Hungarian opera and the latter who, describing his monodrama as a lyric tragedy, traces its ancestry back to Lully. Working together for the first time, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Krzysztof Warlikowski lift “the veil of our eyelashes” to pierce the shadows in which the seventh door closes on a room overflowing with tears of blood.

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Media and technical partners

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