‘Lasciate ogni sperenze, Voi qu’entrate’.
‘Abandon all hope you who enter’.
This is the inscription that Dante placed at the threshold of Hell in his divine comedy.
To this terrible phrase, I have always preferred the celebrated of his myth who, using the power of love and song to enter Hell, brought back his young wife prematurely taken from him.
This exploit inspired many artists, musicians and ‘L’orfeo de Peri’ at the dawn of opera and the one celebrated by Monteverdi. However, Orphee and Eurydice from Gluck has always been my favourite because of his ‘reform’ of opera that had become so full of excesses and his return to a purity and sobriety that I have always searched for in my work.
For my first incursion in directing opera, I have therefore chosen this work, having already directed last year – La Cantate a Trois Voix by Paul Claudel in the manner of a musical sketch.
‘Lyricism’ is a new word for me but not totally unknown. I have always asked my players to show the musicality of words and have worked the texts like a musical score; this time, at last, the notes are added. I make the human voice harmonise with the sound of the instrument.
I am convinced that this antique myth transcends time exalted by the 18th Century music, still touches the heart of today’s audience, young or old and my wish is to show it’s relevance. The loss of the loved one, the strong wish to find him or her and to continue on the path interrupted by one of the multiple accidents that fate can throw at any of us.
This song of Love and Hope that I want to share with the public to seduce it – from the Latin ‘Seducere’ (meaning to separate) – from the everyday trivial to finally stir it towards beauty itself.