Photo Journal:
Not Your Father's Pell_as

Classic Arts News   Photo Journal:
Not Your Father's Pell_as

"Powerhouse" seems an odd word to use about Pell_as et M_lisande, probably the most oblique opera in the entire standard repertory.

But look at the collection of talent the Royal Opera House has put together for its new production: Simon Rattle is on the podium; a riveting pair of performers, Simon Keenlyside and Angelika Kirchschlager, play the doomed lovers, with the equally compelling singer/actor Gerald Finley as Golaud, M_lisande's husband and Pell_as's half-brother. The word "powerhouse" can't help but come to mind.

But then, this is not your usual Pell_as. Stanislas Nordey's production, with sets by Emmanuel Clolus, is far, far away from the shadowy quasi-medieval fairy-tale kingdom typically seen in Debussy's mysterious opera. Nor is this staging anything like the closed-in upper-middle-class family home some directors (such as Peter Sellars or Jean-Philippe Clarac) have favored. Just have a look at the photos below ...

Pell_as et M_lisande receives six performances from tonight through May 23 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London. More information is available at

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All photos below by Clive Barda for the Royal Opera House.

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