to Each his pré carré. Rare are the music-lovers who enjoy both the opera as the ballet (and vice versa). Some scoff at the thick invader of the singing, others laugh at the lightness futile movements. The “lyricolâtre” would have it that dancers cessassent wagging to sing in full voice ; the balletomanes would like to see the singers achevassent to shout themselves hoarse, to enter the world of suspended time. Las, it is in the theatres of opera and song and dance to be found, and a show like this is one of the few who know how to reconcile these brothers enemies.

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Speaking of rarity, Tchaikovsky was among the very exclusive club of musicians who have managed to both excel in the ballet in the opera. With him, the partition is never a foil gymnastic, because she always comes from the heart. Associate one of his final operas, Iolanta , with one of his ballets, the most well-known, the nutcracker , may seem incongruous. But it is precisely in this way that the two works were created in 1892. On the evening of 18 December, the Mariinsky Theatre shone with a thousand lights to celebrate the latest compositions of the musician featured. It was a true gala evening in two parts, without having really tried to imagine a link between the two parts.

This link, Dmitri Tcherniakov has attempted to find, for a show that is among the most indisputable successes of the era Lissner at the Paris Opera. One might fear a hair-pulling, but not…

Delightful dialogue

The strange story of Iolanta , the daughter of king René, to which his father hides that she is blind, to live in an imaginary world, and secret, comes to the fantasy hoffmannienne of the nutcracker , which is also a dream awake.

In this show perilous, the shift of the song to the dance is done with a logical and obvious striking. The movement takes the relay of voice, and Iolanta results in the nutcracker , as if it could not be otherwise. One responds to the other, in a dialogue, a thrilling one, where you never get bored, so that the whole exceeds the four-hour show. Under the musical direction of Tomas Hanus, we thus find the general scenography of Dmitri Tcherniakov, in which are slid the choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Édouard Lock and Arthur Pita. As for the title role of Iolanta, it will be interpreted by the beautiful Moldovan Valentina Nafornita, that the Parisians have recently heard in The merry Widow and The Clemency of Titus.

A pure moment of grace music where the alliance of the voice, the gesture and the note is flirting with a perfection rarely attained.

Iolanta / the nutcracker
Opera Garnier
Place de l’opéra, in the Ninth arrondissement of Paris
Phone: 0 892 89 90 90 dates: from 9 to 24 may, 19 seats: of 25 to 231 €