Opera in five acts (15 pictures)
Composer Claude Debussy · Libretto after the correspondent drama by Maurice Maeterlinck
In French with German surtitles
Cast for all dates
- Musikalische Leitung
- Constantinos Carydis
- Christiane Pohle
- Maria-Alice Bahra
- Sara Kittelmann
- Mitarbeit Regie
- Malte Ubenauf
- Benedikt Stampfli
- Sören Eckhoff
- Benedikt Zehm
Golaud finds Mélisande, a fairy-like figure, in a dark forest. When he addresses her she cringes and sings her first words almost without a voice: "Don't touch me!" Her fragility cannot be missed. Her origin and identity remain a mystery. Another intimate moment changes the future. Only a single glance between Pelléas and Mélisande and their fates are joined together: a forbidden love like that between Tristan and Isolde because Golaud is by now married to Mélisande. With Debussy's psychoanalytic tones one looks inward, into vagueness and invents a new world. As softly as the first act of Debussy's only completed opera begins, so loud was the echo of this work in the 20th century.
While out hunting in the forest, Golaud, the grandson of King Arkel of Allemonde, loses his way and chances upon a young girl, Mélisande. She is unsure of herself and anxious but follows the stranger out of the forest. Geneviève, the mother of Golaud and Pelléas, reads a letter to Arkel in which Golaud informs his half-brother Pelléas of his marriage to Mélisande. At the same time Pelléas receives a letter from a friend who is dying. Arkel advises Pelléas against going to visit the friend as he is afraid that Pelléas’ sick father might also soon die. Mélisande complains to Geneviève about the gloominess which seems to hang over her new home.
Pelléas and Mélisande are playing with Mélisande’s wedding ring which is lost in the course of their game. Golaud, who has been injured as a result of a fall from his horse while hunting, has noticed that Mélisande is no longer wearing the wedding ring he gave her and takes her to task about it. She evades the issue by telling him a lie, whereupon Golaud sends Mélisande and Pelléas away to look for the ring.
Pelléas is attracted by Mélisande’s singing but he nevertheless announces that he is going away. At this moment Golaud comes by and discovers the two of them and is filled with jealousy as he assumes that his half-brother and his wife are having an affair. Golaud thinks he knows where the ring is and forces Pelléas to follow him there. They do not, however, find the ring. Golaud asks Pelléas to keep away from Mélisande, who is now pregnant. Golaud has set Yniold, his son from his first marriage, to spy on Pelléas and Mélisande. Yniold cannot report anything improper and is frightened by Golaud’s questions.
Pelléas tells Mélisande that his father has recovered from his illness, which is why he now definitely plans to leave. Arkel is happy that his house is once again full of life. Yniold is playing and while doing so observes a shepherd. Before Pelléas leaves, he and Mélisande admit that they have feelings for each other. Golaud surprises the two of them and kills Pelléas.
Mélisande is seriously ill but even the physician who is called to attend to her cannot give a clear diagnosis. Golaud questions her on her death-bed as he wants to know exactly what has taken place between her and Pelléas. Mélisande grows weaker and dies. Arkel tries to comfort his grandson Golaud.
Constantinos Carydis wurde in Athen geboren und studierte an der Hochschule für Musik und Theater München. Nach einer Neuproduktion von Carmen an der Oper Frankfurt 2016 dirigierte er im selben Jahr erstmals bei den Salzburger Festspielen. Er arbeitet mit Orchestern wie den Wiener Philharmonikern, den Berliner Philharmonikern, dem Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, dem NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, dem WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, dem Mahler Chamber Orchestra und dem Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. Außerdem dirigiert er an Häusern wie dem Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, der Komischen Oper und der Staatsoper Berlin, der Wiener Staatsoper, der Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, der Staatsoper Athen, der Oper Frankfurt und der Opéra National de Lyon sowie bei den Festivals in Edinburgh und Athen. Im Jahr 2011 wurde ihm der Carlos Kleiber-Preis der Bayerischen Staatsoper verliehen. (Stand: 2020)