Showing posts from September, 2007

Dukas – Ariane et Barbe-Bleue

ONP Bastille, Thursday September 13 2007

Conductor: Sylvain Cambreling. Production, sets and costumes: Anna Viebrock. Barbe-Bleue: Willard White. Ariane: Deborah Polaski. La nourrice: Julia Juon. Sélysette: Diana Axentii. Ygraine: Iwona Sobotka. Mélisande: Hélène Guilmette. Bellangère: Jaël Azzaretti. Orchestra and chorus of the Opéra National de Paris.

In my experience, booing at the opera usually provokes a compensating volley of applause and cheers. Last night, however, as the production team took their bow, it was unmitigated.

Anna Viebrock is familiar to Parisians as Christoph Marthaler’s set-designer; this was, however, my first encounter with her as director as well. She seems determined to do for the interior design of former communist East Germany what Zola did for the institutions of the Second Empire, presenting us with successive archetypes in the form of painstakingly reconstructed “Ostalgic” locations, as if transported lovingly, piece by numbered piece, complete with gru…