Moses und Aron


Schönberg Moses und Aron opera to libretto by the composer. Directed 2015 by Romeo Castellucci at the Paris Opera House. Stars Thomas Johannes Mayer (Moses), John Graham-Hall (Aron), Julie Davis (Ein junges Mädchen or Young Girl), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (Eine Kranke or An Invalid Woman), Nicky Spence (Ein Junger Mann or A Young Man), Michael Pflumm (der nackte Jüngling or The Naked Youth), Chae Wook Lim (Ein Mann or A Man), Christopher Purves (Ein anderer Mann/Ephraimit or Another Man/Ephraimit), Ralf Lukas (Ein Priester or A Priest), Julie Davies, Maren Favela, Valentina Kutzarova, and Elena Suvorova (Vier Nackte Jungfrauen or Four Naked Virgins), Shin Jae Kim, Olivier Ayault, Jian-Hong Zhao (Drei Älteste or Three Elders), as well as Béatrice Malleret, Isabelle Wnorowska-Pluchart, Marie-Cécile Chevassus, John Bernard, Chae Wook Lim, and Julien Joguet (Sechs Solostimmen or Six Solo Voices). Philippe Jordan conducts (1) the Orchestre et Chœurs de l'Opéra national de Paris and (2) Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine or Chœurs d'enfants de  l'Opéra national de Paris (Chorus Master José Luis Basso and Deputy Chorus Master Alessandro di Stefano). Sets, costumes, and lighting by Romeo Castellucci; choreography by Cindy Van Acker;  artistic collaboration by Silvia Costa; dramaturgy by Piersandra Di Matteo and Christian Longchamp. Directed for film by Stéphane Lissner; produced by François Duplat and Laurent Métivier. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

This is the first HDVD of Moses und Aron (there are some CDs and two DVDs). This is some of Schönberg's most difficult music, but the score is now 85 years old and no longer sounds particularly strange to modern ears. Castellucci's stupendously abstract production occupies some of the no-man's land located between opera, ballet, and staged oratorio and appears to me to be as aggressively up-to-date as possible. Fred Cohn, writing in the October 2017 Opera News, says this was the "first new production of Stepháne Lissner's tenure as director of the Paris Opera, and it is hard to imagine a more decisive declaration of seriousness of purpose."

Here are two clips that relate to the performance in Paris. There are other clips on YouTube from the later, but similar, performance in Madrid with a different cast: