Claude Debussy

Pelléas et Mélisande


In a deep wood, lonely Golaud encounters a mysterious stranger, the beautiful Mélisande. She hesitates, but finally accompanies him, and they marry. In Golaud's gloomy castle Allemonde, Mélisande meets his younger half-brother Pelléas, and, despite Golaud's attempts to get in their way, they become lovers. Mad with jealousy, Golaud kills his sibling and fatally injures his pregnant wife...
15 October 2017
18:30 - 21:45
1 intermission
Prices A add to calendar

Cast | 15.10.2017

Conductor Daniel Harding
Regie, Bühne und Licht Marco Arturo Marelli
Costumes Dagmar Niefind
Arkel Peter Rose
Geneviève Janina Baechle
Pelléas Bernard Richter
Golaud Simon Keenlyside
Mélisande Christiane Karg


Claude Debussy’s quest for a new concept of opera that would suit him best lasted a long time. He had no confidence in traditional forms of harmony, nor did he wish to be seen as an emulator of Wagner. On the contrary, what he sought was rather “a freedom for music based on mysterious correspondences between Nature and the Imagination”. In Maeterlinck’s Symbolist drama Pelléas et Mélisande, Debussy thought he had discovered the ideal source for a libretto – although he then nevertheless struggled for ten years to set it to music. This opera about the enigmatic Mélisande and her relationship with the two very different brothers Pelléas and Golaud was last performed at the Wiener Staatsoper in the year 1991