Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande [VOD]


Debussy : Pelléas et Mélisande

When Debussy completes the score, based on the eponymous symbolist play by Maurice Maeterlinck, of Pelléas et Mélisande in 1902, the world of opera still abides by Richard Wagner and the upheaval he caused with Tristan und Isolde. But Debussy decides to stand on the exact opposite side, and uses his new opus to preach a new aesthetic creed. In depicting the forbidden love story between the timid Pelléas and the beautiful Mélisande, kept apart by an unfortunate marriage, the French composer brings us back to the immortal legend of Tristan and Isolde, but this time showing the world that the future of music could very well lie far away from Wagner’s overwhelming lyricism and outsized rhetoric.

This new production, created by one of the rising stars of French stage direction Benjamin Lazar for the Malmö Opera (headed by Ingmar Bergman from 1952 to 1958), encapsulates all the different aspects of this mysterious work, from the oniric poetry invented by Maeterlinck and Debussy to the realism, poignant because openly simple and even mundane, of these profoundly human beings lost in a forest full of sound and symbols that will never let them escape.

The young French conductor Maxime Pascal, the Orchestra of the Malmö Opera, and an almost all-French cast (among which the excellent Marc Mauillon and Jenny Daviet), bring forth with intelligence all the refinement and all the vitality this unique and fascinating score has to offer.


Debussy : Pelléas et Mélisande [VOD]

Drame lyrique in five acts (1902)

Music : Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Libretto : Maurice Maeterlinck after his own eponymous play

Pelléas : Marc Mauillon
Mélisande : Jenny Daviet
Golaud : Laurent Alvaro
Arkel : Stephen Bronk
Geneviève : Emma Lyren
Yniold : Julie Mathevet
Médecin, Berger : Stefano Olcese

Malmö Opera Orchestra and Chorus

Conductor : Maxime Pascal

Stage direction : Benjamin Lazar

Sets : Adeline Caron
Costumes : Alain Blanchot
Lighting design : Mael Iger
Collaborative assistant director : Elizabeth Calleo

Image gallery

« Jenny Daviet is an absolutely outstanding Mélisande, both sensitive and very strong, and sings beautifully» – Nicholas Ringskog Ferrada-Noli, DAGENS NYHETER

« Marc Mauillon and Jenny Daviet sing the title roles […] she with an extreme sensitivity able to reach the deepest roots of our souls » – Lars Sjöberg,  EXPRESSEN

« […] Jenny Daviet’s Mélisande, both innocent and seductive, with a Catherine Deneuve-ish quality, sings outstandingly, going back and forth between shamelessness and servility. Perfect ! » – Mathias Clason, KULTURBLOGGEN