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Il prigionieroIl prigioniero


Opera performed and presented alongside Le Château de Barbe Bleue in October 2015 at Théâtre du Capitole.

« I like silence, or rather the noises things make. But I have never forgotten that one of my greatest pleasures, music, is perhaps the greatest of them all. (…) These two operas are very powerful, but strangely it is not from the music side of things that I started the process. I first dove into the depths of the librettos. I tried to pull out the key ideas and give them a place in the scenography. I tried to look into questions of space, focusing on issues that are linked with the physicality of theatre. »

Aurélien Bory, Interviewed by André Lacambra for Ramdam Magazine – September 2015


Aurélien Bory : His first foray into opera
05 October 2015

We know Aurélien Bory for his surprises, for his personal questioning dressed up in impressive elegance, for the way he blends dance, circus, and theatre. But, for the very first time, he is directing an entire opera. Frédéric Chambert, the artistic director of Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse, had the idea of giving him the two short performances to create a full evening of entertainement.

Firstly, Il Prigionniero by Luigi Dallapiccola, followed, after an entr’acte, by Château de Barbe-Bleue by Béla Bartók. Both pieces are rather dark and, it must be said, a million miles from the nonchalance that we typically associate with Bory. However, the director is right on point here. He handles these operas with a minimalism and sobriety that works well: the movements of the singers are deliberately limited, barely contained. The purposefully static aspect of the actors only serves to increase the impact of the scenery that is made of sheets. There is also a live creation by artist Vincent Fortemps on the backdrop of Il Prigionniero.

Even if you are not really a fan of contemporary music, this show is a great way to discover it, as the relationship between the stage and the orchestra is a great success. The performers are equally impressive: Balint Szabo, the Hungarian bass, is perfectly powerful and unmoveable in the role of Blue Beard. The Turkish baritone, Levant Bakrici, gives an emotionally charged, truthful performance in the role of the prisoner. He magnificently embodies all of the drama of the condemned man. In this first work, the choir are exceptionally good and the Orchestre du Capitole, under the masterful strokes of Tito Ceccherini, exalts all of the nuances that both scores require.

We regret that other stages are not graced with this production. What a shame that such innovative evenings only play a few times!

François Delétraz

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Conductor Tito Ceccherini
Stage director Aurélien Bory
Artistic collaborator Taïcyr Fadel
Plastic artist Vincent Fortemps
Set design Aurélien Bory, Pierre Dequivre
Costume designer Sylvie Marcucci
Lighting designer Arno Veyrat

The Mother Tanja Ariane Baumgartner
The Prisoner Levent Bakirci
The Jailer / The Grand Inquisitor Gilles Ragon
The two priest Dongjin Ahn, Jean-Luc Antoine
Conductor of the Chorus Alfonso Caiani
Chorus and orchestra Orchestre national du Capitole

At the Théâtre du Capitole of Toulouse in October 2015
Duration : 2h10

Original creation : December, the 1st 1949 at Turin.
Photos’ copyright : Patrice Nin.