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 .
Opernwelt recently named him ‘Opera director of the Year’ for the second time in his career, but for a long time it didn’t seem like Romeo Castellucci was going to try his hand on the art form. Until 2011 that is, when La Monnaie asked him to stage Richard Wagner’s Parsifal. The rest is opera history.
A couple of weeks before the premiere of Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher, Romeo Castellucci shares his artistic credo, and looks back at his previous productions with us in this mini documentary.
Nothing escapes her eagle eye. She is the puppet master in control of every situation. Mozart depicts Susanna – a female servant – as the most quick-witted character in Le nozze di Figaro. She’s been through enough to comprehend the true intentions of Il Conte di Almaviva. Now all she needs to do is get the Contessa onboard the #metoo-movement.
‘One of the singular artists of her generation’ (The New York Times); ‘a lavishly gifted soprano’ (The New Yorker); ‘This Is Who We’ve Been Waiting For’ (Peter Sellars). For anyone still in doubt: she has the Big Apple lying at her feet. And now Belgium too. A conversation with Julia Bullock, the driving force behind Zauberland.