OperaLe Roi Arthus
DescriptionKing Arthur makes it to the Paris Opera at last! This rarely performed masterpiece by Chausson was initially created for this opera house. And well over a century after its composition and posthumous premiere, in 1903 at the Théâtre de La Monnaie in Brussels, King Arthur is finally entering the Paris Opera’s repertoire. One of Massenet’s students and a disciple of Franck, Chausson worked tirelessly for seven years to achieve his only opera (from 1888 to 1894). Like all composers of his generation, he both worshiped and hated Wagner. Chausson repeatedly stated: “We need to be de-wagnerised”, and yet composed a work that was typically post-Wagnerian, an opera infused with the so unique soul of the melancholic and luxuriant composer of Poème de l’amour et de la mer. Chausson was well aware of this paradox: “Always, there’s that awful Wagner who blocks my path at every turn. I feel like an ant that comes up against a huge, slippery boulder in its path. It has to make a thousand detours before it finds a way round it. This is where I’m blocked. But I keep on searching. I haven’t lost patience and am not without hope.” Chausson did find his way, giving to the fateful love of Lancelot and Guinevere and the despair and grandeur of Arthus, the dreamlike colours of a medieval world inherited from the Romantics and revisited by Symbolism. Alongside Sophie Koch and Roberto Alagna, Thomas Hampson returns to the Paris Opera as the majestic King Arthus and Philip Jordan conducts this magnificent fresco for its entry to the Paris Opera repertoire.
Orchestre et Chœurs de l’Opéra national de Paris
A coproduction of the Paris Opera, CLC Productions and Mezzo
With the participation of France Télévisions, the support of the Orange Foundation, patron of the Paris Opera's audiovisual broadcasts, and with the assistance of the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée.
Director: François-René Martin
© Opéra national de Paris - CLC Productions - Mezzo 2015
Visuel ©Andrea Messana / OnP