Saturday, 29 September 2018

Today : world première of 'Bérénice' by Michael Jarrell in Paris

Today, the Opéra national de Paris presents the world première performance of Bérénice, an opera composed by Michael Jarrell, with a libretto by the composer after Jean Racine's tragedy.

© C. Daguet / Editions Henry Lemoine

It is the composer's second opera after Galilei (Geneva, 2006).
Titus, passionately in love with Berenice, sends her away from Rome 'in spite of himself and in spite of her', recounts Suetonius. Titus and Berenice love each other; under the watchful eye of Antiochus, the hopeless lover, they try yet refuse to understand each other. (reproduced from the Opéra national de Paris website)
The cast includes baritone Bo Skovhus (Titus), soprano Barbara Hannigan (Bérénice), baritone Ivan Ludlow (Antiochus) and bass Alastair Miles (Paulin). Philippe Jordan conducts the Orchestra of the Opéra national de Paris. Claus Guth directs.

The score is published by Editions Henry Lemoine. According to their website, the required orchestra is the following :

- 3 flutes (doubling alto flute and piccolo), 2 oboes (doubling English horn), 2 clarinets (doubling bass clarinet), 2 bassoons (doubling contrabassoon) ;
- 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 1 tuba ;
- 3 percussionists ;
- harp, MIDI keyboard ;
- strings.

The venue is the Palais Garnier. The performance should last about 90 minutes (no interval).

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