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Music theatre / New production


Claude Debussy, Sylvain Cambreling
Krzysztof Warlikowski

Anders Petersen

A family is suffocating due to centuries of tradition. When its eldest son marries a homeless young woman, hopes of love and happiness are awoken only to be overshadowed by ancient fears, resentments and violence.
Inspired by the Belgian symbolist Maurice Maeterlinck Claude Debussy translates real experiences of the modern age into mysteriously evocative mythologically-charged images and scenes: the experience of an existential loneliness, of fear and abandonment. To stage ‘Pelléas et Mélisande’ in an industrial space is like conducting a laboratory dissection of the piece in the most alien location possible: what is noticed first is the intimacy of its scenes. However, these scenes repeatedly brush up against a world the protagonists barely notice, one governed by poverty, decay and a longing for death. In Krzystof Warlikowski’s production these surroundings are made concrete: the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum as a site of the triumph of human technology becomes the setting of a distanced scientific and technocratic seizure of nature and life, the administration and exploitation of the living. The architectural situation and history of the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum transposes Pelléas and Mélisande from the context of an interpretative symbolism into the tangible physical experience of modern man.
In his only completed opera Debussy uses the power of the orchestra to create a deep psychological portrait of the inner conflict of the protagonists in a musical chamber piece. The French conductor Sylvain Cambreling, who is regarded as one of the leading Debussy specialists of our time, conducts the Bochumer Symphoniker, which occupies a central place in an impressive stage design by Malgorzata Szecniak. The part of Mélisande is sung by Canadian star soprano Barbara Hannigan.


Arkel - Franz-Josef Selig
Pelléas - Phillip Addis
Golaud - Leigh Melrose
Ein Arzt - Caio Monteiro
Mélisande - Barbara Hannigan
Geneviève - Sara Mingardo
Yniold - Solist des Knabenchores der Chorakademie Dortmund
Extras - Frank Bramkamp, Lisa-Katharina Breuer, Björn Castillano, Yacouba Coulibaly, Klaus-Peter Hannig, Monika Hüttche, Laron Janus, Juliana Jobe, Klaus Linden, Christian Scheid, Gabriele Schönstädt, Eva Stoldt, Aboubacar Traore
Orchestra - Bochumer Symphoniker