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.
The Covid pandemic was a major blow to our current cultural year, with many of our productions having to be postponed to a later season. The artists who were meant to perform at La Monnaie did not forget our audience, though. Canadian mezzo Michèle Losier, who was set to perform the role of Octavian, here performs the very first sung words from Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss, as well as the Prière by Charles Gounod.
For weeks our musicians have had to practice from the safety of their own home, but now they are finally able to return to La Monnaie. For the first Concert-E-no, Saténik Khourdoïan (violin), Noémi Tiercet (violin), Yves Cortvrint (viola), Dominique Lardin (viola), Sébastien Walnier (cello) and Corinna Lardin (cello) perform Tchaikovsky’s string sextet Souvenir de Florence. In this video you can get a sneak preview into how they rehearsed the piece remotely. The result can be heard this friday at 12:30.