Opera @ la Monnaie, Brussels: “Iphigénie en Tauride” of Christoph Willibald Gluck

La Monnaie under snow : uplifting and dream-like! I was invited and I’ve discovered the Opera House and Iphigénie en Tauride, the opera of Christoph Willibald Gluck. With a children’s excitement, I sit and wait and decipher any details helping me to figure out  the opera. I chat, quick apprehension about the lengh, I am curious excited but not especially an opera lover. Slowly the hall turns dark and it starts (picture below). Since the beginning, I’ve felt being caught up in the music, lyrics, voices power and frames. A part of the audience cheers the tiers on stage with chorus. Fantastic chorus, really impressive! The minimalist stage of Pierre Audi brings fluidity to the rigid play of the classic Greek tragedy (which is for me quite unbearable). Only one – historical – “detail” really bothered me: the pronunciation of before the French Revolution “r“. Thankfully we don’t use it today, this old “r” hurts my listening. This opera is in French, Gluck  has worked “to change the form and the expression” of the French Opera (Christophe Rousset, musical director). Thanks to all artists and H san, for this beautiful discovery!

In the centre of the picture, Iphigénie, the priestess of Diane : soprano, Nadja Michael / On the left, Oreste, her brother, the king of Argos and Mycènes : baritone, Stéphane Degout / On the right, Pylade, the friend of Oreste, the king of Phocis : tenor, Topi Lehtipuu / On the left border, Thoas, the king of Tauride : bass, Werner Van Mechelen / On the right border, Diane : soprano, Violet Serena Noorduyn.

La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra & Chorus.


Iphigénie en Tauride, of Christoph Willibald Gluck. Creation Académie royale de musique, Paris, 5/18/1779

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