Exhibitions

Patrice Chéreau, staging the Opera

From 18 November 2017 to 1 March 2018 at the Palais Garnier

Bibliothèque-musée de l'Opéra

Patrice Chéreau, mettre en scène l’opéra
Patrice Chéreau, mettre en scène l’opéra 14 images

Fim and stage director and actor Patrice Chéreau (1944-2013) had an enduring impact on the artistic landscape of the last few decades. To mark the revival of Leoš Janáček’s From the House of the Dead at the Opéra Bastille, the Paris Opera and the Bibliothèque nationale de France are jointly presenting the first exhibition exclusively devoted to his career in opera.

Through the eleven productions he directed, Patrice Chéreau brought new life to opera production, applying his talents as a director of actors to further his ever more "embodied" conception of vocal roles. The exhibition invites us to discover his formal and conceptual choices for each production. It also reveals the wealth of the visual world that influenced Patrice Chéreau and his stage designer Richard Peduzzi. It allows us to explore the specificity of the creative process that Chéreau applied to opera. How do you direct singers like actors? How do you work in coordination with conductors? What relationship can you build between a score's musical line and the action on stage?

What emerges is a portrait of a director at work, engaged in a close dialogue with all his collaborators whilst constantly seeking to give opera the force of “elevated theatre, incandescently forged, like Siegfried’s sword, by the music”. 

  • I. The early years

    Patrice Chéreau was born on November 2 1944 in Lézigné, Maine-et-Loire. He grew up in Paris on the Left Bank near the Pont des Arts. His mother was a graphic designer and his father a painter...

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  • V. Alban Berg's Wozzeck (1992-1998)

    Born out of Daniel Barenboim’s and Patrice Chéreau’s mutual desire to work together, the production of Wozzeck at the Théâtre du Châtelet offers clean, uncluttered sets with geometric cubes that are at once reminiscent of Giotto, Paul Klee and Russian constructivism.

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  • VI. Mozart's Don Giovanni (1994-1996) and Cosi fan tutte (2005-2006)

    In the middle of the 1980s, Patrice Chéreau participes actively in the debates surrounding the project for the Opéra Bastille. His production of Don Giovanni should have featured in the inaugural season of the new theatre, but it is ultimately in 1994, at the Salzburg Festival, that the production is staged...

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  • VIII. Richard Strauss's Elektra (2013-2016)

    In 2013, Patrice Chéreau stages Elektra at the Aix Festival with conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. Having always wanted to direct an ancient tragedy, Patrice Chéreau finds in Richard Strauss's opera an opportunity to tackle the “basic simplicity” of Greek theatre...

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  • IX. The opera factory

    Patrice Chéreau always had a conflictual relationship with opera. On numerous occasions he said he wanted to turn his back on the genre once and for all, lamenting the overly short lead-time for rehearsals, and conditions governing revivals that were often too rigid...

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Exhibition curators : Sarah Barbedette and Pénélope Driant

Artistic direction : Richard Peduzzi

Scenography : Laure Montagné

Lighting design : Bertrand Couderc

Graphism : Violette Chatiliez

Sponsors

  • Avec le concours de l'imec

  • Montre exclusive de l’Opéra national de Paris

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  • Mécène principal de l'Opéra national de Paris

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  • Mécène principal du Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris

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  • Mécène principal de l'Académie de l'Opéra national de Paris

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  • Avec le soutien de l'AROP

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  • Ministère de la Culture

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