Friday, January 3, 2014

Two Py, Not Square (Dialogues des Carmélites and Hamlet)

Stage director Olivier Py is busy all over Europe these days. Videos of two of his latest productions can be viewed online (and they're not on YT, so they won't magically disappear without warning.) On a post over at the Parterre Box*,  redbear commented:
...his Theatre des Champs-Elysees “Dialogues” [is] a “perfection rarement atteintes” and the “Hamlet” in Brussels last month “brillante.”
At Arte Live Web, where you can watch a video of Dialogues des Carmélites (featuring French divas Véronique Gens, Sophie Koch, and Patricia Petibon as Blanche) for about six more months, we learn:
Francis Poulenc's composition is based on the eponymous drama by Georges Bernanos and is an outstanding masterpiece of French opera of the 20th Century. The historical setting and the extraordinary protagonists make "Dialogues of the Carmelites" as an impressive allegory on human existence, death and the relationship of people to each other and to God.

Then check out Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet at La Monnaie; and not just because there's a nude barihunk (thank you, It also is an opera we don't get to hear that often, and it's an impressive production. Marc Minkowski conducts, and Stéphane Degout is the wonderful Hamlet (he was a super Pelleas last season, too); Degout's brief nakedness adds a special creepiness to a mother giving her grown son a bath. Mathieu Rémy as Laertes is a tenor to watch out for, too. You can see the full opera on France's Culturebox until June 2014. 

My fluency in French is slightly below survival level, so even though I know the basic plot of each opera, I found these synopses from the Metropolitan Opera very helpful:

*A rather interesting (and impressively civil) discussion regarding pros and cons of Regieoper.

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