Call it magnetism, call it hypnotic powers, but when Audrey Bonnet enters a space, something happens. That goes for both the empty opera stage in Romeo Castellucci’s production of Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher, and the small rehearsal studio where we meet the French actress to discuss her internationally lauded 'tour the force'. Have a look for yourself.
Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher (Joan of Arc at the Stake) marks the return of Romeo Castellucci to La Monnaie. A year after his radical new reading of Die Zauberflöte, the Italian director cum metteur en scène cum lighting and costume designer is turning his attention to Arthur Honegger’s extraordinary ‘oratorio dramatique’. This urgent piece of musical modernism tells the life story of France’s national heroine in eleven scenes, but then in reverse: from her death sentence to her youthful calling. We follow the approach of Honegger and his librettist Paul Claudel, and in our turn present this production in eleven retrogressive steps .
These days he is a two-time winner of Opernwelt’s award for ‘Opera Director of the Year’, but for the longest time, it didn’t look like Romeo Castellucci would tackle the art form at all. Until 2011, when La Monnaie invited him to work on Richard Wagner’s Parsifal. What followed is operatic history. In this video portrait, the director reveals his artistic credo and returns to his previous stagings at La Monnaie.
One week to go, and with the arrival of the orchestra, the team behind Lulu shifts into top gear. What does the full orchestra pit change for our leading soprano? And how does she prepare for the final sprint after a marathon of five intense weeks of rehearsals?
Bringing a production back to life in an opera house, nine years after its first performance, is only possible through a whole series of small steps, all lined up like dominoes. Stretching from the last closing night to the upcoming opening night, they involve every single part of the show, and therefore every department that worked on the original production.