Il Viaggio, Dante in Aix-en-Provence: the issues of life

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Aix en Provence. Grand Theater of Provence. 15-VII-2022. Pascal Dusapin (born 1955): Il Viaggio, Dante, opera in seven tableaux to a libretto by Frédéric Boyer primarily based on La Vita Nuova and La Divina Commedia de Dante (world premiere). Route and choreography: Claus Guth. Units: Etienne Pluss. Costumes: Gesine Völlm. Lighting: Fabrice Kebour. Video: roca movie. With: Jean-Sébastien Bou, baritone (Dante); Evan Hughes, bass-baritone (Virgilio); Christel Loetsch, mezzo-soprano (Giovane Dante); Jennifer France, soprano (Beatrice); Maria Carla Pino Cury, soprano (Lucia); Dominique Visse, counter-tenor (Voce dei dannati); Giacomo Prestia, bass (Narrator). Choir (conductor: Richard Wilberforce) and Orchestra of the Opéra de Lyon, director: Kent Nagano

Pascal Dusapin directed by Claus Guth: in the direction of the globalist visions of Resurrection and from Moses and Pharaoh follows an interesting dive into the intimate.

The Comedy (initiated) Divine after the demise of Dante Alighieri solely 700 years in the past) in 1 hour and 45 minutes: Pascal Dusapin and his librettist Frédéric Boyer did it! They even added excerpts from The Vita Nuova, the primary genuine work of the Italian poet. And with out getting misplaced in the dead of night forest of the 2 henchmen, Claus Guth managed to present this emblematic poem of a whole nation nice readability.

It’s not with out query that we ventured to unveil an eleventh opera by Pascal Dusapin, whose earlier lyrical opus have confessed their refinement, their hypertechnics, but additionally their lack of urge for food for the allegro, their melodic impotence, though at this level final level, within the Third Circle of Hell ofIl Viaggio, Dantethere may be new hope. Comodia, Faustus, the final night time, Ardour : Pascal Dusapin circled across the monument for a very long time. Il Viaggio, Dantemuch less howling wave than Penthesileabegins the identical means, with an extended maintain harking back to the Prelude from Rhinegold. In distinction to this Wagnerian summit, which can be the prelude to a world in movement, Il Viaggio, Dante doesn’t get out of rhythm with a immobile journey. A journey reworked right into a collective hypnosis session by means of the magic of a magician named Claus Guth.

The good German director makes the Orphic hero (as Pascal Dusapin rightly name him) who went looking for Béatrice disappeared, a person misplaced within the forest of his recollections after consuming on the wheel of his automotive, he hit a tree. Begins a metaphorical aberration between room and forest, Hell of remorse, Purgatory of encounters and Paradise of recollections. All issues in life which, it’s stated, cross into a person’s thoughts because the final gasp approaches. like his Don Giovanni for Salzburg, Guth’s Dante is steadily drained of blood. Regularly we perceive that this man stands between life and demise. Just like the hero of issues of life, Claude Sautet’s overwhelming masterpiece, Guths Dante is a Dying Man. Maybe fulfilled (“ O pleasure! O pleasure unspeakable! oh all life of affection and peace shut the booklet). Uncertain…

Il Viaggio, Dante has a Prologue and 7 work: The Departure, Track of Mourning, Limbo, The 9 Circles of Hell, Coming Out of the Darkish, Purgatory, Paradise. The present is launched by a narrator whose sequins splash on a cabaret curtain. Parade in a short time within the ingenious setting of Étienne Plus’ pictures of nice magnificence: the plush inside of the hero widens like a cinema display screen; the antechamber of the Underworld with well-stricken sufferers (remarkably directed extras); a spectacular crossing from the mirror to the well-known 9 Circles, launched by the very anxious smile of two lords Loyal, and inhabited by a really terrifying doppelganger of Béatrice embodied by the priceless Dominique Visse, skinny and grey hair, squeaker than ever, to him solely all of the damned vote; an immense black and transferring canvas that swallows all the pieces that comes inside its attain… The house, first assigned to the railing, good points in depth right down to a darkish pine forest (the place Guth had dragged his dying Don Giovanni), earlier than being redrawn the room the place Dante will cross after the reminiscence of Beatrice disappears right into a crack within the wall. A bed room whose transferring wallpaper owes all the pieces to the video of rocafilm and the lights of Fabrice Kebour.


Dante leaves Jean-Sébastien Bou with a powerful bodily and vocal funding on the finish of his life excessive level, to finish the constant gallery of tortured characters wherein he excels. Dante in the beginning of his life (Giovane Dante) is entrusted to the splendid mezzo of Christel Loetsch (she got here from Penthesilea and from Macbeth Underworld): a really good thought than that of this two-headed Dante to know the complexity of the character. At each ends of the work, Jennifer France embodies Béatrice with nice charisma. Sainte Lucie (minimize in half by a disk of sunshine and renamed Lucia) takes benefit of Maria Carla Pino Cury’s sharp and shot coloraturas. Evan Hughes’ good-looking Virgil, the hero’s fellow traveler, struggles to interrupt by means of sure partitions of sound. French opera sung, and even spoken in Italian (Giacomo Prestia, just lately Verdian in Good, as grasp of ceremonies on the microphone a number of sentences torn from the good work), Il Viaggio, Dante additionally recurrently calls on a choir whose backstage contribution accentuates the dreamy dimension. It’s addressed to an orchestra of forty instrumentalists (together with two luxurious stowaways: organ and glass harmonica) who’re reworked right into a hypnotic reservoir of sounds by Kent Nagano’s at all times exact baton. The strengths of the Opéra de Lyon, of their potential to cross from someday to the subsequent, from Rossini to Dusapin, are spectacular on this quest for the “novelty of sound” that Dante speaks of in his Paradise, however which can be that of the composer when he talks about his ‘operatorio’.

Dusapin’s different ambition (to inform a narrative of historical past) confronted by Claus Guth’s (to inform a narrative) provides delivery towards all odds in a night adopted even by those that are reluctant to the model of the composer, like the most effective of films thrilling. That the success ofIl Viaggio, Dante or lastly the potential of paying tribute, by means of a crucial parallel, to the festivals that, towards all odds, pose as defenders of essentially the most recurrently battered standing of the lyrical world. Bayreuth 2021 (Kosky, Kratzer, Tcherniakov), Aix 2022 (Castellucci, Kratzer, Guth): opera, in such good arms, is extra important than ever in our time.

Photograph credit: © Monika Rittershaus

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Aix en Provence. Grand Theater of Provence. 15-VII-2022. Pascal Dusapin (born 1955): Il Viaggio, Dante, opera in seven tableaux to a libretto by Frédéric Boyer primarily based on La Vita Nuova and La Divina Commedia de Dante (world premiere). Route and choreography: Claus Guth. Units: Etienne Pluss. Costumes: Gesine Völlm. Lighting: Fabrice Kebour. Video: roca movie. With: Jean-Sébastien Bou, baritone (Dante); Evan Hughes, bass-baritone (Virgilio); Christel Loetsch, mezzo-soprano (Giovane Dante); Jennifer France, soprano (Beatrice); Maria Carla Pino Cury, soprano (Lucia); Dominique Visse, counter-tenor (Voce dei dannati); Giacomo Prestia, bass (Narrator). Choir (conductor: Richard Wilberforce) and Orchestra of the Opéra de Lyon, director: Kent Nagano

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