Penthesilea, the proud queen of the Amazons ! After the accidental death of her sister Hippolyta, she took part in the Trojan War to prove the courage of the Amazons. A complex and deadly game of love and hate, attraction and repulsion arose between Penthesilea and Achilles. It was Heinrich von Kleist (1808) who brought the subject into the modern era. In his version, Achilles does not kill Penthesilea, but vice versa : in a moment of tragic madness she tears apart the one she loves with her teeth. Pascal Dusapin’s Penthesilea is his seventh opera ; he includes in his score a quote from Christa Wolf : ‘Thus begins the modern era and it is not beautiful.’ Ludovic Morlot, the principal conductor, is joined by a strong female team ; for her debut at La Monnaie, the director Katie Mitchell will undoubtedly develop the searing ‘quest for power’ in all its psychological intensity.