Roland Petit 

Music : Beethoven, Debussy, Fauré...
libretto after Marcel Proust
Choreography : Roland Petit
Albertine Eleonora Abbagnato
Young Proust Hervé Moreau
Morel Stéphane Bullion
M. de Charlus Manuel Legris
Ballet of the Opera national de Paris   Orchestra of the Opera national de Paris   Musical Direction : Koen Kessels

BAC032 / Ballet recorded at the Opera de Paris in 2007

Born in 1871, Marcel Proust, affected by asthma and living as a recluse, turned his entire attention to composing his “novel-world”, In Search of Lost Time. Conceived between 1908 and 1922, the novel was published in seven volumes from 1913 to 1927 first by Grasset, and then Gallimard. Breaking with chronological narrative, Marcel Proust focused on the memories of the narrator, a sensitive young man from a bourgeois Parisian family who yearns to become a writer.

Beyond this introspective approach, Marcel Proust painted the merciless portrait of the bourgeoisie and aristocracy during the Belle Epoque. He questioned the motives of social advancement through a world populated by archetypal characters both fictitious and inspired by the milieus he frequented. The complexity of In Search of Lost Time opened the era of the modern novel.

In 1974, Roland Petit was the first to propose a choreographic adaptation of the novel, ahead of the first cinematographic transpositions. First performed in Monte Carlo by the Marseille Ballet, Les intermittences du coeur soon toured the world. It was finally performed at the Palais Garnier in December 1988. After Goethe, Mérimée and Hugo, the choreographer continued his exploration of major texts. He has remained loyal to his belief that literature contains “the most beautiful ballet stories that one can imagine”. Even so, his intention here was not to make a faithful adaptation of the novel. Instead, he preferred to capture its flavour and convey, through a few selected tableaux, the narrator’s incessant fluctuations between happiness and torment. “What I have taken from Proust, is an essence which is dear to me” he confides. Nothing could be more appealing than this Proustian world “abounding with scenes where everything is movement in space” and where gesture is often more eloquent than words. For the music, the choreographer has followed the testimony of Céleste Albaret, Proust’s governess and confidante who, in her book, Monsieur Proust, evoked the composers who played a decisive role in her master’s life. To mark the work’s entry into the Paris Opera Ballet’s repertoire, Roland Petit has entrusted Bernard Michel and Luisa Spinatelli respectively with designing new sets and costumes – to remain as close as possible to an intention that transcends time: “to make feelings dance”.

  • Director: Vincent Bataillon
  • Length: 102 min - Image: 16/9 NTSC
  • Audio: PCM Stereo / Dolby digital 5.1
  • Zones: All Zones - 1 disc(s) - Release date: