Charles Dutoit – a supreme interpreter of French music – conducts a rare Sydney performance of Debussy's spellbinding opera Pelléas et Mélisande.
Composed at the dawn of the 20th century, Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande emerged from the shadow of Wagner – completely inconceivable without the precedent of Tristan und Isolde and yet in nearly every way 'anti-Tristan'. We might be bringing opera into the concert hall in our performances, but Debussy was bringing the symphony into the opera theatre. Forget the set-piece arias of traditional opera, this is drama that soars on the wings of seamless symphonic writing. And the speech rhythms of Maeterlinck's Symbolist text are as integral to the sound as the extraordinary washes of colour from the orchestra. You won't be able to resist this heartbreaking tragedy or the gorgeously sensual atmosphere of Debussy's music.
Change of Artist: Following an accident at home which resulted in a broken foot, Sandrine Piau has been instructed by her doctors not to undertake any air travel during the coming weeks. As a result she has regretfully had to withdraw from these performances of Pelléas et Mélisande. We are grateful to Michaela Selinger for taking on the role of Mélisande at short notice.