Sunday 15 July 2012 on BBC radio 3
Live from the Albert Hall, London
Debussy – Pelléas et Mélisande. Concert performance sung in French
A scene from the Paris staging by Stéphane BraunschweigBBC iPlayer time expired
Premiered at the Opéra-Comique on 30 April 1902
For the 150th anniversary of Debussy’s birth, John Eliot Gardiner conducts the operatic masterpiece, Pelléas et Mélisande. Debussy’s score is full of atmospheric suggestion and insinuating eroticism, and it follows the story of the mysterious Mélisande, rescued from the forest by Golaud, who marries her then discovers his half-brother Pelléas has also fallen in love with her.
This doomed love is the central focus of the opera, but there is much that is opaque, obtuse, elusive. John Eliot Gardiner says that “to conduct Pelléas et Mélisande is to enter another world.” He has recently performed this landmark piece in Paris at the Opera Comique with his period instrument ensemble, and this is the first time it will be heard at the Proms on the instruments of Debussy’s time. Phillip Addis and Karen Vourc’h reprise their much-praised, fresh-voiced partnership in the title-roles.
- 19.00 Acts 1-3
- 20.40 Interval
- 21.00 Acts 4-5
Synopsis from l’Opéra Comique
It will be very interesting to see how this works in the vastness of the Albert Hall