Cherubini’s Médée

In connection with one of my daughter’s school French projects, we went to see Cherubini’s Médée opera last weekend at the Théatre des Champs Elysées.  I was not even aware of the existence of this late 18th century opera and I do not think it classify it as one of the top operas, even though it was one favourite in Maria Callas’ repertoire, but the lead singer playing Médée, Nadja Michael, was fabulous and more than made up for the deficiencies of the lead male singer playing Jason. The arrangement by Krzysztof Warlikowski was also impressive, mixing 18th Century songs with modern dialogues and costumes.

The  Théatre des Champs Elysées had in fact a series of three Médées this trimester and I am quite sorry we missed the first and baroque one by Marc-Antoine Charpentier from a century earlier whose libretto had been written by the brother of Pierre Corneille, Thomas Corneille, making the connection with my daughter’s project.

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