Cleveland Orchestra Pulls Out All the Stops for New Production of “Pelleas and Melisande”

Tue 5/2 @ 7:30PM

Thu 5/4 @ 7:30PM

Sat 5/6 @ 7:30PM

The Cleveland Orchestra is pulling out all the stops for its next opera presentation, Claude Debussy’s 1902 Pelléas and Mélisande. It’s getting a mood-setting staging worthy of the impressionistic music, with a production featuring an all-new box-like set that can be transparent or obscured, lighting and projects that create shifting, elusive atmospheres, costumes and dance.

Swiss soprano Martina Janková, who sang the Vixen in the orchestra’s 2014 production of Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen sings the title role of Mélisande for the first time.  Canadian baritone Elliott Madore is Pelléas in his Cleveland Orchestra debut.

“I have wanted to do this impressionistic opera with the Cleveland Orchestra for a number of years,” says Cleveland Orchestra music director Franz Welser-Möst in the press release for the performances.  “But I had been waiting for the right time, to have the right singers and the right creative team, so that we could together tackle the psychological depths of the action onstage and within this piece.  On one level, there is little immediately dramatic about this work.  Instead, this opera is dreamlike.  The action is inside the characters, inside the music. Debussy takes the romantic feelings of the characters and weaves them into a mesmerizing and fascinating continuum.  He identified their desires in an almost Sigmund Freudian subconscious way, and he wrote that into the music.”

The five-act opera is sung in French with English supertitles. Welser-Möst conducts and Yuval Sharon directs the staging. Tickets are $40-$149.



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