Curlew River

Britten

Opera

Curlew River, A Parable for Church Performance op. 71

PREMIERED at the Orford Church, on 12 June 1964

LIBRETTO William Plomer, based on the medieval Japanese Noh play Sumidagawa by Juro Motomasa
MUSIC Benjamin Britten

IN ENGLISH WITH SUBTITLES

DIJON OPERA CHOIR

CHOIR MASTER Anass Ismat
MAÎTRISE DE DIJON

MUSICAL DIRECTOR Nicolas Chesneau
STAGE DIRECTOR Guillaume Vincent
DIRECTOR OF THE MAÎTRISE Étienne Meyer
CHOIR MASTER & ORGAN Marine Thoreau La Salle


SCENOGRAPHY Pierre-Guilhem, assisté d’Elodie Dauguet

COSTUMES Fanny Brouste
LIGHTS Kelig Le Bars

ASSISTANTSHIP STAGE David Herrezuelo

WITH THE SUPPORT of the Cercle d’entreprises of the Dijon Opera

  • PERFORMERS 

    LA FOLLE James Oxley
    LE PASSEUR  Benjamin Bevan
    LE VOYAGEUR Johnny Herford
    L’ABBÉ Vincent Pavesi

    FIGURANT  Léo Misset

    L’HOMME Josué ALBERT & Mathéo GILLET (en alternance)

    VAUTOURS  Les Ailes de l’Urga


    MUSICIANS

    Marine Thoreau La Salle orgue

    Guillaume Têtu cor 

    Chloé Ducray harpe 

    Gille Deliège alto

    Anne Romeis flûte

    Emilie Legrand contrebasse 

    Pierre Olympieff percussions

  • PRODUCTION 

    PRODUCTION Dijon Opera

The first of three church parables that Britten wrote for the Orford Church in Suffolk between 1964 and 1968, Curlew River has progressively imposed itself on international stages. The mysterious allegorical subject was inspired by a performance of a 16th century Noh play the composer saw during a trip to Japan in 1956. The adaptation was entrusted to the South-African poet William Plomer, who transposed the action to Suffolk, giving it the form of a medieval mystery. An Abbot introduces the mystery to the faithful, which the monks will perform for them: a group of pilgrims arrive at the banks of the Curlew River, which separates the Kingdoms of the East and the West, and while they prepare to cross the river, they hear a plaintive song. It is the Madwoman, who has come from the Black Mountains in search of her kidnapped son, and who embarks with them. During the crossing, the Ferryman explains that the previous year, a pagan from the North had crossed the river with a dying child he claimed to be his slave. Abandoned on the other side of the river, the child expires with the words "Kyrie Eleison", and ever since, numerous miracles have occurred on his tomb. The Madwoman understands that this is her son, and she breaks into tears, while all pray at the tomb of the child, whose ghost appears singing. Before joining the Kingdom of the Dead, he frees his mother from her madness. A miniature chamber opera, Curlew River is one of Britten’s most fascinating scores. With an unusual formation dominated by winds, percussion, organ and harp, the composer deploys treasures of coloration and suggestion to evoke madness or the dark undulations of the river, in a particularly enchanting and unreal atmosphere. The role of the Madwoman, written for the tenor Peter Pears, with its haunting melismas and expressivity, alone makes it worth discovering this bewitching work so unlike any other.

MEET THE ARTISTS
Foyer of the Grand Theatre
with Guillaume Vincent
Tue 26 at 7 p.m.

with Nicolas Chesneau
Thu 28 at 9:30 p.m.

STUDENT EVENING
APRIL
Thu 28 at 8 p.m.



  


Add to calendar
Grand Theatre
  • April 2016
    • Tuesday 26 at 20:00
    • Thursday 28 at 20:00
    • Friday 29 at 20:00
Ticket price B
from 5.50€ to 44€
Duration
1H15 (not including an intermission)

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