Moses und Aron

opera in two acts (1954)
music Arnold Schönberg
libretto Arnold Schönberg

conductor Philippe Jordan
director Romeo Castellucci
Moses Thomas Johannes Mayer
Aron John Graham-Hall
Ein Junges Mädchen Julie Davies
Eine Kranke Catherine Wyn-Rogers
Ein junger Mann Nicky Spence
Der Nackte Jüngling Michael Pflumm
Ein Mann Chae Wook Lim
Ein anderer Mann, Ephraimit Christopher Purves
Ein priester Ralf Lukas Vier
Nackte Jungfrauen Julie Davies, Maren Favela, Valentina Kutzarova, Elena Suvorova
Drei Älteste Shin Jae Kim, Olivier Ayault, Jian-Hong Zhao Sechs
Solostimmen Béatrice Malleret, Isabelle Wnorowska-Pluchart, Marie-Cécile Chevassus, John Bernard, Chae Wook Lim, Julien Joguet

set design, costume design, lighting design Romeo Castellucci
choreography Cindy Van Acker
artistic collaboration Silvia Costa
dramaturgy Christian Longchamp, Piersandra Di Matteo
chorus master José Luis Basso

Paris Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine / Paris Opera Children's Chorus
coproduction with Teatro Real of Madrid

I have at last learned the lesson forced on me last year, and I shall not forget it. I am neither a German nor a European, and perhaps barely human, but I am a Jew.” Despite having converted to Protestantism in his youth, Schönberg was the target of anti-Semitic attacks from 1921 onwards. Shaken by such virulence, he decided to return to his roots while developing a highly personalised interpretation of the Old Testament. What initially started out as a cantata soon took on the dimensions of an oratorio. The project became a philosophical opera that pitted not only two brothers, Moses and Aron, against each other, but also radicalism and compromise, muddled discourse and lyric effusion to the backdrop of a fickle community personified by a particularly massive chorus.

“Oh word, word that I lack!” That last phrase, uttered by Moses, sums up the prophet’s tragic weakness but also expresses the composer’s inability to overcome his own contradictions. Officially converting back to Judaism in Paris shortly before seeking refuge in the United States, the inventor of dodecaphonism was plagued by an almost existential inability during the last two decades of his life: that of completing Moses und Aron. Philippe Jordan conducts this masterpiece along with the full musical forces of the Paris Opera and Romeo Castellucci makes his much awaited debut on the stage of the Opera Bastille.

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