Friday, November 4, 2011

Robert Wilson's Imaginative "Pelléas et Mélisande" in Madrid

Camilla Tilling as Mélisande
(Photo: Javier del Real/Teatro Real)
"An exquisite production of the opera has come to Madrid's Teatro Real, and it conjures a universe all its own. The orchestra was crisp and precise Monday night, enchantingly supple under the direction of Sylvain Cambreling. Fluttering melodic figures, submerged in whole-tone scales and rippling intervals, escaped into the air only to evaporate into a limpid, Wagnerian fog, specked by floating dissonances. Most of the episodic action takes place off stage, leaving the crux of the drama to the imagination of director Robert Wilson, who manages brilliantly. Richly textured sounds suggest colors and shapes, contrasts of light and dark, and angular silhouettes. Floating forms are strewn across the stage: a hanging lantern with an exposed flame, a seat undulating in a wavy swirl. Moving black and white panes create a pulsating backdrop, and translucent scrims are employed to astounding effects, as when—in an early scene—one billows across the stage to evoke the sea. Soprano Camilla Tilling masterfully sang the enigmatic Mélisande, imbuing bright, shimmering tones with the skating lilt and sag of ennui. Her controlling husband Golaud, sung impeccably by baritone Laurent Naouri, responds with thick-noted alarm, while his wife drifts irresistibly toward the eccentric charms of Pelléas, rendered well by tenor Yann Beuron. Mélisande's restlessness with Golaud turns frolicsome, even transgressive, by Pelléas's side. Mr. Wilson evokes the psychological dimensions of this transformation through a stunning choreography of gestures." [Source] Watch a video highlighting the production and interviews with the cast by clicking here.

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