A Review of Pelléas et Mélisande at Berlin

Pelléas et Mélisande, Deutsche Oper, Berlin
By Shirley Apthorp [Financial Times]
Published: October 14 2004 03:00 | Last updated: October 14 2004 03:00
Yniold wants to know why these sheep huddle together and why they are so silent. We know why. They are dead, piled in a stiff-legged heap.
By the end of the opera, Yniold knows all about death. When he bends to tickle Mélisande’s motionless baby, his face falls. Arkel sings of the infant’s future only because he is blind.
These are two gloriously Gothic touches in Marco Arturo Marelli’s new Pelléas et Mélisandefor Berlin’s Deutsche Oper. It is a triumphant season-opener for the new Intendantin Kirsten Harms. Though her plans for the house will not come into effect for another two years, her firm guidance can already be felt. At last, the company members are working like a team.
Alone the cast is more consistently good than anything the Deutsche Oper has seen for years. Véronique Gens is an other-worldly Mélisande,graceful and inscrutable, with each phrase shaped and pure.
[Remainder of article *here* (subscription to Financial Times Online required)]