OPERA DE PARIS 2012/2013 SEASON OF OPERA AND BALLET www.moviesatgorey.ie
Movies@Gorey brings the world renowned Opera de Paris 2012/2013 season of live operas and ballets to your local cinema screen.
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Opera de Paris, founded in 1661, is one of the older State Opera Houses in Europe.
The Season 2012/2013 has all the credentials to be unforgettable, from Opera to classical ballets, but always with the best casts, directors and conductors. All broadcast live Via Satellite.
Falstaff (Verdi) Tuesday 12th March 2013 @ 6.30pm
“For forty years I have wanted to write a comic opera”. When Verdi wrote these words in 1890, he had already bid farewell to the stage not once but twice, with Aida and with Otello. Fifty years earlier, he had tried his hand at opera buffa with Un giorno de regno. The piece was a flop and, since his wife died during its composition, the failure left him highly embittered. Was it the desire to ward off the ill fortune that appeared in so many of his operas that made him take up his pen again one last time? Or was it the shadow of Shakespeare? Or perhaps the libretto written by the talented Boito, inspired by Henry IV and The Merry Wives of Windsor, overcame his reluctance? “I am having fun…” Verdi repeated continually when composing Falstaff. The composer views the escapades of the old penniless and pot-bellied knight, who wants to deceive the wives and ends up routed, in a dirty washing basket and tossed into the river Thames, with the clear-sighted, distant and mischievous gaze we recognise from his later photographs. At the age of eighty, his composing was leisurely and liberated from the rules. Arias, duets and ensembles merge together in the same musical movement, continuous and boisterous, making Falstaff an unsurpassed operatic comedy that, a century later, continues to give us the gift of joyous laughter.
Mahler’s Gustav Third Symphony (Ballet) Thursday 18th April 2013 @ 6.30pm
The entire edifice of John Neumeier’s work is built around a profound musical sensibility. However, the choreographer, in his constant questioning of the human condition, probably finds the closest reflection of his own humanist concerns in the works of Gustav Mahler, several of whose symphonies he has set to dance. On the wings of the emotions inspired by the monumental Third Symphony, written as “a great hymn to the glory of all creation”, he enters the composer’s tormented and contrasting universe to sculpt images of a powerful and profound lyricism. The piece is an osmosis between music and dance, shot through with a palette of emotions, from existential angst to mystical faith. Chorus and soloists accompany the dancers’ elegant movements, curved lines and vertiginous lifts, reminding us yet again of the richness of inspiration that powers Neumeier’s choreography.
Hansel & Gretel (Humperdinck Opera) Monday April 22nd @ 6.30pm
In 1881, the twenty-seven-year-old Engelbert Humperdinck became Richard Wagner’s assistant in Bayreuth. Wagner had two more years to live. These two years of intense artistic collaboration on Parsifal indelibly marked the young composer’s life and style. In 1883, the Master died, leaving his disciple “incomplete”. He became a wanderer, traveling throughout Europe, eventually becoming a renowned teacher. Ten years later, in Weimar, Humperdinck completed his masterpiece, Hansel and Gretel. His sister wrote the libretto, inspired by the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale. The opera premiered at Christmas under the enthusiastic baton of Richard Strauss. Humperdinck had retained a Wagnerian taste for continuous melody and leitmotiv. However, his fairy-tale opera (Märchenoper) also drew on children’s songs and the sort of popular melodies whose origins tend to become lost in the mists of time. The result is music that astounds, as deep as the lakes of Germanic legends but at the same time strangely familiar. It conjures up memories of our forgotten childhoods as though once, long ago we ourselves were that very brother and sister lost in the forest, trapped in the grasp of the witch with her gingerbread house.
La Gioconda (Ponchielli) Monday May 13th @ 6.30pm
In his preface to Angelo, Tyrant of Padua, one of his rare prose plays, Victor Hugo says that drama has to be both noble and real. In transposing the play to operatic form, Amilcare Ponchielli and Arrigo Boito remained faithful to Hugo. Their Gioconda, first performed at La Scala Milan in 1876, is one of the most flamboyant of classic operas. At that time, it was difficult for a composer to live in the shadow of Verdi, but Ponchielli was one of the rare artists to carve out a place and an identity for himself, not too far removed from the Master but different nonetheless. At his side, Boito, who had already demonstrated his talent as a composer with Mefistofele, proved to be even more skilled as a librettist, and he soon went on to work with Verdi. Lying somewhere between great French opera and Verdi-style drama, La Gioconda portrayed broken hearts and shattered destinies in 17th century Venice. Power and love, sacrifice and betrayal, poison and revenge: the opera brings together all the elements of melodrama and infuses them with a new lease of life, grandiose and operatic. Violeta Urmana, Luciana D’Intino, Marcelo Alvarez and Sergey Murzaev appear together under the baton of Daniel Oren and Pier Luigi Pizzi’s direction in this rare and spectacular masterpiece
La Sylphide (Jean-Madeleine Schneitzhoeffer) Ballet Wednesday June 26th @ 6.30pm
Created in 1832 at the Paris Opera, Philippe Taglioni’s La Sylphide heralded the advent of the romantic ballet. The delicate and ethereal dancer Marie Taglioni played the unattainable, dream-conjured sylph, alongside Joseph Mazilier. In the point shoes and long diaphanous tutus she wore in La Sylphide, the ballerina became an emblematic figure. The libretto by Adolphe Nourrit was inspired by romantic tales recounting the impossible love between a human and a supernatural creature. The tormented young James finds himself torn between the promise of a comfortable life held out by his impending marriage to Effie and the freedom embodied by the Sylphide, that inaccessible ideal who comes to him in his dreams. The work was a critical triumph from the outset, praised in particular by Théophile Gautier, who would later write the libretto for Giselle. This emblematic ballet was lost to the repertoire for over a century. It is now being presented at the Paris Opera in a faithful recreation by Pierre Lacotte, whose immense choreographic culture has enabled him to unravel and recast the spells of the grand French romantic style.
the Académie royale de Danse (Royal Academy of Dance) by Louis XIV with the purpose of training dancers and formalising choreographic art.
In 1669 the Founding of the Académie royale de Musique (Royal Academy of Music), also known as Académie d’Opéra or Opéra, at the instigation of Colbert. Under the aegis of the crown, this institution brought together a group of singers, the first professional orchestra in France and the Ballet Company of the Académie royale de Danse in order to promote French opera in Paris and in the more important cities in the kingdom. The Académie was not subsidised but funded itself. It wasn’t until after the French Revolution that its director received financial help from the state and then only if he accepted certain conditions in exchange. The King granted him one privilege: a monopoly on the performance of musical theatre. From 1672 to 1687, the Académie was directed by Lully who wrote operas for it, including Cadmus and Hermione (1673), considered to be the first French opera in the history of music, Armide (1674) and Alceste (1686). A milestone in the history of French opera, the founding of the Académie royale de Musique was also an important event in the history of Ballet: until then, dance had been considered merely as a courtly entertainment; now it had the public stage at its disposal and dance interludes were incorporated into operas. Little by little, the Ballet became more and more independent until, in the 19th century, the era of the great romantic ballets, it had its own repertoire.
During the two centuries that followed its creation, the Opéra changed its venue eleven times: it resided at la Bouteille (1670-1672), the Jeu de Paume(1672-1673), the Palais-Royal (1673-1763), the Salle des Machines (1764-1770), the second hall of the Palais-Royal (1770-1781), the Menus-Plaisirs (1781), the Porte Saint-Martin (1781-1794), the Salle de la Rue de Richelieu (1794-1820), the Théâtre Louvois (1820), the Salles Favart (1820-1821) and Le Peletier (1821-1873).