Cherubini, Luigi
Cherubini: Medee
Rousset, Christophe;
Les Talens Lyriques;
Les Choeurs de la Monnai
nr katalogowy
BAC 076
Written in 1797, Cherubini's faithful version of Euripides' ancient tragedy is one of the most savage and powerful works of the opera repertoire, relating the cruel vengeance of a wounded woman for whom infanticide seems to be the only solution to her humiliation in love. As a continuation of Gluck's music, Cherubini's work is of boundless emotion, at once a refined, terrifying and desperate portent of a tragic outcome. Three years after the creation of 'Médée', Krzysztof Warlikowski and Christophe Rousset were reunited at La Monnaie for this memorable production. The spoken dialogue,has been modernised here in the Polish stage director's interpretation: dialogues being rewritten in contemporary French and with contemporary candour. Warlikowski reconstructs Médée as a contemporary, postmodern patchwork in which the 18th century musical numbers are just one element among others in a nearly-new work. As usual with Warlikowski, there are videos: 50s and 60s home videos of happy marriages, happy families, happy schoolkids accompanied by pop songs of the period Oh Carol, (I am but a fool) being an example. The chorus are the period bourgeoisie, in superbly reproduced 60s costumes and hairstyles. Médée and Jason are strictly contemporary: she, at first as Amy Winehouse: the signature black hair, tattoos, eyeliner, black patent dress),he with long, heavy dreadlocks bunched down the back of his dinner jacket (and tattoos, once he is down to his vest). The themes are marriage and separation, motherhood and children, the symbols are Médée as a dangerous, unconventional outsider (Amy Winehouse); as the Virgin Mary: as a weary modern mother folding her sons bloodstained pyjamas and putting them in a drawer at the end before, in absolute silence, walking off and slamming the metal door behind her. '...it's Nadja Michael's performance that convinces most. Her first entrance is a real coup de théâtre: she slips into Dirce's wedding preparations from a side door, unnoticed by the other players on stage but very much noticed by the audience, frighteningly sexy in black PVC dress, bouffant black Amy Winehouse style hair and arrows of black eye makeup. The different sexual chemistries between her, Streit and Van Kerckhove are gripping...Michael's voice was up to the task in every way, with plenty of power, diction clear as a bell and stage presence and expressiveness to burn...But the biggest revelation of the evening was quite how good Cherubini's music can sound when played by the extraordinary Les Talens Lyriques, conducted by Christophe Rousset.' David Karlin, Bachtrack
DVD x 2
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