MITRIDATE, A TRIPTYCH

Staging projet  - Finalist of the staging competition - La Monnaie/De Munt - 2015

W.A. Mozart (1756-1791) K. 87

 "Mitridate - A Triptych"  was created for the competition organised by the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie.

It was chosen as one of the three finalists and presented to a jury and tested in a workshop. 

It hasn't yet been staged in an Opera house. 

Director                                                                                       OLIVIER FREDJ
Set design                                                                                 GASPARD PINTA

Costumes                                                                       CLEMENCE PERNOUD
Lighting                                                                        CAROLINE VANDAMME

Photography                                                                        SEBASTIEN LEBAN

 

 'There is no name more famous than Mithridate’ (Jean Racine)

 

When one reads the first words of the prologue of Racine’s Mithridate, one sees immediately the distance between us and the period in time when Racine and then Mozart wrote their works.

 

Today there is no name less known than Mitridate. The drama codes as well as the musical codes in Mozart’s opera’s Mitridate, the pre-eminence of the cast and their virtuosity and the type of audience it was intended for, all mark the distance between then and now.

 

We are not Mozart. Yet, like him, we must answer to a precise schedule, and deal with the technical limits, finite means and limited duration of conception as well as production. We must bring an opera to life, in a particular place, for a specific audience, and within production conditions that are very different from Mozart’s. As with him however, with an established cast, the structure of the opera itself and its stakes as our only guide to give the production a modern scenic force.

 

Our role is to bridge the distance between Mitridate and us, privileging above all, as Racine wrote, ‘the pleasure of the reader’, or in our case, the pleasure of the spectator.

 

Transposing into a contemporary world is often a privileged solution to bring the work closer to the audience. But, on approaching Mitridate, it seemed to us that no transposition of action or period would be enough to reveal the multiplicity of the tragedy and to do justice to the music. For Mitridate is an epic and political drama, a tragedy of love and a personal drama. It is a multifaceted tragedy, constructed backwards, the unity of which is expressed in a one and only event: Mitridate’s death.

 

We consider Mitridate to be primaly a drama dealing with the end of life and the loss of not only political power, but also sexual, physical and psychological power.It is the story of his confrontation with a reality that is stronger than his desires.

 

 We have chosen to enlarge the stage and represent this multiplicity with a triptych.

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© 2017 Olivier Fredj