The cast of Pelléas et Mélisande are now deep into rehearsals and immersing themselves in the elusive and allusive world of Debussy’s opera.
In this short video singers Christopher Purves, Christina Gansch and John Chest join director Stefan Herheim to tell us more about this darkly romantic tale…
John Chest (Pelléas) in rehearsals
‘At the foundation it’s a love triangle’ says John Chest, who plays the youthful Pelléas, ‘… and that spirals into exactly where we expect it to go’ he adds ominously.
Christopher Purves (Golaud) and Christina Gansch (Mélisande) in rehearsals
Christopher Purves who plays Pelléas’s brother and love rival, Golaud concurs, ‘It’s a disaster really, waiting to happen right from the word go’.
Christina Gansch and Christopher Purves in rehearsals
Christina Gansch portrays the beautiful and mysterious Mélisande, the focus of the two brothers’ attentions, ‘There’s so much unfulfilled longing going on, which then provokes so much violence but also eroticism and it’s just… Yeah, it’s quite a piece!’
Stefan Herheim directing the cast
‘This opera celebrates life, because it shows so strongly how lost we are’ says director Stefan Herheim, ‘We are just living on the surface without actually feeling ourselves and now we are going deeper together into something that has to do with fear, destruction, dysfunctional aspects of life and this makes us, I think, better people.’
Pelléas et Mélisande opens on 30 June and is on stage until 9 August.
You can dig deeper into Pelléas et Mélisande at our Study Event on Saturday 14 July. Moderated by journalist Warwick Thompson and featuring expert talks, panel discussions and musical previews. Tickets £40. Book now