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Mariusz Treliński’s triumphs in Lyon

The premiere performance of Mariusz Treliński’s new production ended to rapturous applause. The latest work from Treliński, the Polish National Opera’s artistic director, R. Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten (La Femme sans ombre) opened on 17 October at the Lyon Opera.

This is the first time the Lyon audiences can see and listen to the piece since its world premiere at the Vienna State Opera exactly 104 years ago this October. Hugon von Hofmannsthal’s libretto was markedly influenced by the Freudian theories gaining momentum at the time and thus seemed an ideal material for Miariusz Treliński. The director approached the opera as a journey of a woman experiencing ‘spiritual desolation’, or melancholia, clearly referencing the work of Lars von Trier and Ingmar Bergman.

The production is led by Daniele Rustioni, the music director of the Opéra National de Lyon and winner of the 2022 Best Conductor International Opera Awards 2022. The cast is led by Vincent Wolfsteiner (Emperor) and Polish-German soprano Sara Jakubiak (Empress) alongside Josef Wagner (Barak, the dyer), Ambur Braid (Dyer’s wife farbiarza), Lindsay Ammann (Nurse), Paweł Trojak (One-eyed Man), and actress Natalia Bielecka. The creative team includes Marcin Cecko (dramaturge), Marek Adamski (costumes), Marc Heinz (lighting), Jacek Przybyłowicz (choreography), and Bartek Macias (videos).

Mariusz Treliński, whose visual work seduces, combines beautiful lighting, immersive videos (populated with striking undulating and magical effects) and ingeniously simple sets mounted on a turntable. (Le Monde)

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‘Mariusz Treliński, whose Tristan and Isolde, The Fiery Angel, Onegin, and Iolanta we have all enjoyed, this time preferred to turn his attention to an issue that is relevant in this day and age rather than the naivety of the fairytale (…) or symbolism (…): the imperative of parenthood that has always burdened human beings (…) and women in particular. Are you a woman if you do not have children? That is the question. (Res Musica)

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