Preview: Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande by the Welsh National Opera (HKAF 2018)
Established since the early 1900s, the Welsh National Opera has since grown to become the country’s national opera company, fully professional and with a ton of history to their name. At the 2018 Hong Kong Arts Festival, they’ll be heading over to the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Grand Theatre to perform what is often considered the definitive version of Debussy’s opera Pelléas et Mélisande.
Winner of Best Opera Production at the 2016 Wales Theatre Awards, Pelléas et Mélisande tells the story of the mysterious and sudden appearance of the beautiful Mélisande. Enchanted by her beauty, Prince Golaud quickly falls in love and marries her, but a love triangle develops when he realizes Mélisande is getting dangerously close to his half-brother Pelléas. With revenge and rage in hand, jealousy threatens to destroy the royal family, as they spiral into a violent series of tragic events.
Based on a text by Belgian Nobel Literature Laureate Maurice Maeterlinck, Pelléas et Mélisande is far more similar to recitative-aria Italian style operas, Debussy’s only complete opera will charm with its sensitivity and elusive nature. Directed by acclaimed Welsh National Opera artistic director David Poutney himself, this production will feature an imposing giant metal lattice in place of its traditional forest setting, while conductor Lothar Koenigs is set to bring out the full intensity of emotions against Debussy’s score. These haunting melodies will linger in your mind long after leaving the theatre, as the Welsh National Opera takes you on a mystical journey into the darkest facets of human nature, and coincides perfectly with the centenary of Claude Debussy’s death.
Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande plays on 15th and 17th March at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Grand Theatre as part of the 2018 Hong Kong Arts Festival. Tickets available here