Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

La Monnaie Presents World Premiere LE SILENCE DES OMBRES

La Monnaie Presents World Premiere LE SILENCE DES OMBRES

La Monnaie opens the 2019-20 season not by one, but by two world premieres. In September 2019, at the same time as Pascal Dusapin's Macbeth Underworld at La Monnaie, Le Silence des ombres premieres at KVS. It is an opera adaptation of Maurice Maeterlinck's Trois Petits Drames pour Marionnettes, commissioned to the young French composer Benjamin Attahir and produced in close collaboration with the author and director Olivier Lexa, a team of novice creators of the National School of Visual Arts of La Cambre and a cast of young singers supported by ENOA, the European Network of Opera Academies.

Starting with his first dramatic works written between 1889 and 1894, Maurice Maeterlinck single- handedly introduced the great change that would open the way to the theatre of the 20th century. With the Trois Petits Drames (1894) in particular, Maeterlinck demolished the theatre of action dominated by dramatic activity. Written immediately after Pelléas et Mélisande (1892) - the play that would famously serve Claude Debussy as a libretto for his ground-breaking opera - La Mort de Tintagiles, Intérieur and Alladine et Palomides are in the same vein, although their message is concentrated by an unprecedented theatrical efficiency and emotional power, which makes them particularly suited to opera. Each play differs greatly from the others; they share, nevertheless silence, stifled cries, the invisible, and chiaroscuro.

The Queen, who possesses complete control over her servants and people, has killed most of Tintagiles' family. His sisters Ygraine and Bellangère try to protect him, but he is captured by the Queen's servants and brought to her apartment in the castle. Ygraine pursues them to the door, from behind which she can hear Tintagiles' cries for help. In vain, Ygraine tries to open the door, and the Queen murders him.

The Old Man and the Stranger appear outside a house. Through the windows, a family can?be seen within. Both men argue over how to inform the family of the death of one of the daughters. As the crowd approaches with the body, discovered in the river, the Old Man enters the house and can be seen through the windows informing them of their loss.

The old wise King Ablamore falls in love with a young slave, Alladine, but without deceiving himself: "The sadness of a love coming too late". Enter Palomides, the fiancé of his daughter, Astolaine,
who also falls in love with Alladine. Without any reproach Astolaine supports the treason of the lovers against the vengeful Ablamore.

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of Maeterlinck's death, the perfect moment for a new homage to this icon of Belgian literature. In September, his three succinct and unheimlich pieces of theatre poetry will be revived in the form of a new La Monnaie opera entitled Le Silence des ombres. A challenge entrusted to the French composer Benjamin Attahir, who will also conduct the world premiere of his opera, at the helm of the La Monnaie Chamber Orchestra.

Benjamin Attahir (1989) studied the violin at the Conservatoire de Toulouse before going on to study composition at the Conservatoire de Paris and has since won numerous competitions and awards. Inspired by somewhere mid-way between East and West, his works are commissioned and played by major orchestras and musicians: Daniel Barenboim (Al Fajr, 2017), the Ensemble intercontemporain (Et nous tournions autour de ces fontaines hallucinées, 2016), L'Orchestre National de France (N'zah, 2010), the Philharmonie de Paris (La femme fendue, 2018) and the renowned French violinist Renaud Capuçon (the recent concerto for violin and soprano). Benjamin Attahir was recently composer-in-residence with the Gstaad Festival (2018) and the Orchestre National de Lille (2017-19). This season at La Monnaie you will hear more of his work during the Concertino on October 11th.

Having studied history, music management, violin and chamber music, Olivier Lexa(1977) has pursued an active career as a writer, director and manager. As an authority on Venetian baroque music - his essay Venise, l'Éveil du baroque is an unrivalled musical travel guide through the city of the doges -, he staged the first modern production of L'Eritrea (Francesco Cavalli) for the Teatro La Fenice in 2014. In 2016 he worked as a dramaturge on new productions of Verdi's I due Foscariand Puccini's Madama Butterfly, both at La Scala in Milan, and at La Monnaie on L'Opera seria(Gassmann). That same year he directed the first modern production of L'Oristeo (Francesco Cavalli) at the Opéra de Marseille and a new production of Monteverdi's Peccati Capitali for the Palazzo Ducale in Venice and Carnegie Hall (New York). Last year he directed Naïs (Rameau) for the Warsaw Philharmonic.

In addition to the composer and the director who are in the prime of their career, La Monnaie also resolutely plays the youth card for the rest of the artistic team. Thus, the sets and costumes of this production were entrusted to a team of young creators, students linked to the National School of Visual Arts of La Cambre with their professors Véronique Leyens and Simon Siegmann assisting in the process of creation. The lighting benefits from the experience of Alexander Koppelmann, who was our guest in January 2018 for the creation of light for Il prigioniero & Das Gehege (Dallapiccola, Rihm).

The cast is made up of young singers who have previously gained experience in our MM Academy, at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel or at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.

The Polish soprano Julia Szproch, a former artist-in-residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, sang the role of Vixen (The Cunning Little Vixen, Janác?ek) in the amphitheatre of the Paris National Opera. The following year, she made her debut at La Monnaie as Phylo in a concert version of Fauré's Pénélope. Now she returns to interpret the roles of Tintagiles and Alladine.

The Portuguese soprano Raquel Camarinha (Ygraine, Marie, Astolaine) obtained her Master's degree at the Conservatoire de Paris and won the First Prize and the Audience Prize at the International Competition of Baroque singing of Froville. Next to performances of Pamina?(Die Zauberflöte, Mozart), Eurilla (Orlando Paladino, Haydn) and Fulvia (La Pietra del Paragone, Romanelli) at the Théâtre du Châtelet, she sang in the world premiere of two Luís Tinoco operas, as well as the chamber version of Saariaho's La Passion de Simone.

After being admitted at the Superior Department for Young Singers in Paris, the mezzo-soprano Clémence Poussin (Bellangère, Marthe, sister of Palomides)completed her training at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne and since 2016 at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel. As a member of the Lyon Opera Studio during the 2017-2018 season, she made her debut in the role of Lady Macbeth's Servant (Macbeth, Verdi) and the following year in the role of Polya (The Enchantress, Tchaikovsky).

French bass Renaud Delaigue (Aglovale, Ablamore) trained at the Conservatoire of Lyon and then at the Atelier Lyrique de l'Opéra in the same city. Mostly engaged for Mozart's roles, he quickly expanded his repertoire under the impulsion of several specialists of Baroque and ancient music. He sang in Gianni Schicchi (Puccini) and performed amongst others the roles of Basilio (Il barbiere?di Siviglia, Rossini), Nourabad (Les Pêcheurs de perles, Bizet) and Arkel (Pelléas et Mélisande, Debussy).

Belgian tenor Pierre Derhet (un Paysan, Palomides) started his singing studies in 2010 at the IMEP in Namur and graduated in 2016 as MM Academy Laureate. He has performed the opera roles of Raoul de Gardefeu (La vie Parisienne, Offenbach), the Prince (Cendrillon, Massenet) and more recently Raoul de St-Brioche (Die lustige Witwe, Léhar) and Tanzmeister (Ariadne auf Naxos, Strauss) at the Pittsburgh Opera (USA). At La Monnaie, he sang solo roles in numerous productions: Capriccio (Strauss), Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (Monteverdi), as well as in Meyerbeer's Robert le Diable, to name but the most recent.

The Belgian actor Sébastien Dutrieux (l'Étranger, Médecin) is acclaimed for the repertoire of classical and contemporary theatre and also often performs in musical projects as narrator, among others in Le carnaval des animaux (Saint-Saëns) at La Monnaie, or The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (Britten) at the Lorraine National Opera in Nancy. This autumn, he performs Frère Dominique in Romeo Castellucci's production of Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher (Honegger) at La Monnaie.

The Franco-German coloratura soprano Morgane Heyse (International Opera Academy Ghent), the French mezzo-soprano Sarah Théry (Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel) and the Belgian soprano Gwendoline Blondeel (MM Academy Soloist) sing the roles of the Servante and the Sœur de Palomides. The Brussels actor Luc Van Grunderbeeck plays the role of the Vieillard.

Opening night: 25 September 20:00
27 September 2019 20:00
29 September 2019 15:00
02 & 04 October 2019 20:00
06 October 2019 15:00

KVS - Arduinkaai 7, 1000 Brussels

Corealisation LA MONNAIE / DE MUNT, KVS (as part of the partnership TROIKA)

In coproduction with Shelter Prod and Prospero MM Productions
With the support of and ING
With the support of the tax shelter of the Belgian federal government

+ 32 2 229 12 11 - MM Tickets, Entrance Hall of the theatre, entrance Rue des Princes, 1000 Brussels - -

Related Articles View More Belgium Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You