Symphony and Monodrama for Narrator, Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra, 1830-1832
Text and music Hector Berlioz
Théâtre Auditorium de Poitiers, april 2009
Année de la France au Brésil, april 2009
Musical direction, Philippe Herreweghe
Staging and videos, Jean-Philippe Clarac & Olivier Deloeuil
Lighting design, Rick Martin
L’Artiste, Marcial di Fonzo Bo ; Ténor, Robert Getchell ; Baryton, Pierre-Yves Pruvot ; Dancers : Marie-Julie Debeaulieu, Lodie Kardouss, Blanche Konrad, Chloé Mérigot, Aline Pourbaix, Gabrielle Weischbuch
Orchestre des Champs-Elysées - Jeune Chœur de Paris (Geoffroy Jourdain)
Orchestre des Champs-Elysées, Clarac-Deloeuil > le lab. Special support from the Institut Français
Combining La Symphonie Fantastique & Lélio, Berlioz’ diptych Episodes in the Life of an Artist recreates different moments of the composer’s unrequited love story with British actress Harriet Smithson. But this masterpiece of Program music is much more than that : It tells the story of a young man who sees for the first time a woman who unites all the charms of the ideal person his imagination was dreaming of… and who looses her.
Inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, our treatment creates a multimedia hybrid visual universe in which the orchestra players, an actor, 5 female dancers and video projections constantly interact in front of the audience. Whatever he does, the actor is overcome by increasingly bizarre visions of the woman he has lost. These somehow lurid and bizarre visions provide the dramatics for our staging and videos throughout the various musical sequences of this double-bill. Both staged actions (enacted in front of the orchestra) and videos (projected above it) present the various states of mind of this love-crazed young artist, plunged off the deep end and finally finding hiw way back to the shore.