French actress Marion Cotillard will play the title role in the dramatic oratorio Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher by Arthur Honegger (1892-1955), libretto by Paul Claudel (1868-1955), which will premiere on 7 June, in a co-production between the Teatro Real and the Frankfurt Opera, with stage direction by Àlex Ollé (La Fura dels Baus).
Marion Cotillard performs together with actor Sébastien Dutrieux (Father Dominique), sopranos Sylvia Schwartz (The Virgin) and Elena Copons (Marguerite), mezzo-soprano Enkelejda Shkoza (Catherine), tenor Charles Workman (Porcus), bass-baritone Torben Jügens (Herald), the Titular Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real and the children chorus Pequeños Cantores de la JORCAM, under the musical direction of Juanjo Mena.
Honegger’s oratorio is preceded by the cantata La damoiselle élue by Claude Debussy (1862-1918), libretto by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, starring soprano Camilla Tilling and mezzo-soprano Enkelejda Shkosa.
Honegger’s oratorio, whose Spanish premiere in 1954 at the Liceu in Barcelona featured Ingrid Bergman as Jeanne d’Arc and Roberto Rossellini as stage director, calls for a great actress in the leading role, as her performance is the backbone of this unclassifiable work, both formally and musically.
On Paul Claudel’s brutal, ghostly and symbolic ‘scenic poem’, Honegger created a score that is an eclectic mosaic of influences, from counterpoint to jazz, from folklore to Martenot waves, with a very rich and original orchestration at the service of a dramaturgy vindicating patriotism, justice and freedom.
The eight performances will take place on 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 12, 14, 16 and 17 June, 2022.