Pelléas et Mélisande -
'Franz Welser-Möst conducts admirably ...'
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
Copyright © 13 July 2006
Robert Anderson, London UK