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VII. Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (2007-2010) Leoš Janáček’s From the House of the Dead (2007-2017)

The premiere of From the House of the Dead takes place in May 2007 at the Teater an der Wien, as part of the Wiener Festwochen. The production moves to Amsterdam, and then Aix-en-Provence at the beginning of the summer. It is here that Patrice Chéreau begins rehearsals for Tristan und Isolde, which will have its first performance at Milan’s La Scala on December 7 of the same year.

Born out of the idea of bringing Boulez and Chéreau together again, the project to stage From the House of the Dead cements the bond between the two men more than twenty years after “The Ring” and Lulu. Based on the work by Dostoyevsky, Janáček’s opera gives Patrice Chéreau the opportunity to explore the parallel world of prison life, “where existence is measured solely by emptiness and recollection, burning envy and desire”. Astutely avoiding the clichés that costumes or sets might suggest, his staging evokes the countless camps that have haunted the 20th Century, from the Gulag to Guantanamo.

Tristan und Isolde is an opera which Chéreau refused to direct on several occasions, including one invitation in Bayreuth. Even so, it is with unabashed joy that he finds himself working with Wagner again: “that way of giving so much responsibility to the words” offers him a particularly fertile breeding ground. The legend of the two lovers who can only live their passion in death leads Chéreau to research into depression and suicide. He also reads the mystics Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Avila.

Tristan et Isolde de Wagner 2007-2010 - De la maison des morts de Leoš Janáček  2007-2017
Tristan et Isolde de Wagner 2007-2010 - De la maison des morts de Leoš Janáček 2007-2017 5 images
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