• Orlando Stéphane

Antigone in the Dark

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

Good critics in the newspapers today! For an English translation see below...

"Antigone in the Dark", bright

Good critics in the newspapers today! For an and Caròla.

Third lyrical discovery of the week (after Jeanne au bûcher and Ce qui vit en nous), Antigone in the Dark is a real treasure. This 50-minute lyrical monodrama is the result of the meeting between composer Stéphane Orlando (also pianist, improviser and music analysis teacher) and writer Lorenzo Caròla (also singer, now director of the Forum des Compositeurs).

Initially associated for a festival of minute operas, the authors were so happy with the collaboration that they decided to broaden its scope. The instrumental part was entrusted to the Ensemble Fractales, the singing, to the soprano Rita Matos Alves, the staging to Matthieu Collard, the video to François D'alcamo, all this was welcomed by the Théâtre Poème - recently taken over by Sébastien Romignon Ercolini -, first in residence, then for a series of eight performances, the first of which was held on Thursday. Fifty minutes out of time, of extraordinary intensity, where Antigone, after being led - pushed - into her grave by the six musicians (Greek chorus before becoming an orchestra), retraces the circumstances of her conviction, justifies one last time her choices, launches her just reproaches, renews her love and merges into the light of death.

Caròla's text (in English, surtitled in French) is that of a familiar of opera: poetic, precisely distanced, but of an authentic dramatic power, on which Stéphane Orlando has based himself to compose half a dozen characterized scenes, from epic to meditative, where the science of writing always supports emotion. Under his direction, each musician (including himself) plays his own instruments (piano, violin/alto, cello, flutes, clarinets) and various percussion instruments, while Antigone's singing unfolds, sovereign. The staging is meticulous and Rita Matos Alvez - at ease in all tessitura, and so beautiful... - confirms her immense qualities as an actress and singer.

Martine D. Mergeay

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