Music and Vision homepage Classical Music Programme Notes for concerts and recordings, by Malcolm Miller

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Irresistibly Haunting

Debussy's
Pelléas et Mélisande -
reviewed by
ROBERT ANDERSON

'Franz Welser-Möst conducts admirably ...'

Claude Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande. © 2006 TDK Marketing Europe GmbH

I am eternally grateful to the set designer Rolf Glittenberg and Sven-Eric Bechtof as stage director for the more than two hours they let me spend in the Arctic Circle while watching this opera. It is glorious to see snow everywhere, so long as it avoids one's own front steps. It was more than delightful to watch Mélisande arriving at her destination in a cockleshell of a skiff and playfully covering the odd prostrate character with a counterpane of snow. That she let her hair down, not from the casement of some hoary old mediaeval castle, but while lying on the roof of an old Citroen car apparently trapped in a drift with both Pelléas and Golaud inside, was final preparation for her final exit far from dead, tossing a golden ball nonchalantly into the air and doubtless ready for many a snowball fight with little Yniold.

Isabel Rey as Mélisande and Michael Volle as Golaud at the beginning of 'Pelléas et Mélisande'. DVD screenshot © 2004 Opernhaus Zürich
Isabel Rey as Mélisande and Michael Volle as Golaud at the beginning of 'Pelléas et Mélisande'. DVD screenshot © 2004 Opernhaus Zürich

 

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Copyright © 13 July 2006 Robert Anderson, London UK

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Classical Music Programme Notes for concerts and recordings, by Malcolm Miller