Dinorah ou Le Pardon de Ploërmel (concert version)


Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791 – 1864) / at the Berliner Philharmonie

Concert Version, at the Berliner Philharmonie

Opéra comique in three act
Libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, based on two Breton tales by Émile Souvestre, "La Chasse aux trésors" and "Le Kacouss de l'Armor"
First performed (1st version) at the Opéra Comique (Salle Favart), in Paris, on 4 April 1859
First performed (2nd version) at the Royal Opera House, in London, on 26 July 1859

In French language with German surtitels

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Most lovers of opera owe their knowledge of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s DINORAH to a single production of the work. It was Maria Callas’ delivery of the “Ombre légère” aria that was responsible for the eponymous heroine being viewed as a sister of those other great female characters – Donizetti’s Lucia, Amina in Bellini’s THE SLEEPWALKER or the Ophelia of Ambroise Thomas’ HAMLET – who take refuge in madness rather than embrace a world they no longer understand.

The work in its entirety, however, is still relatively unfamiliar to many. With his DINORAH [LE PARDON DE PLOERMEL], an opéra comique first performed in 1859 in the twilight of his career, Meyerbeer conjures up the world of romantic spirits and fairies in a lightly poetical oeuvre laced with humour. Combining lyrical, folkloric and comic elements, Meyerbeer achieves a singular and nuanced palette of colours in his musical rendition of the story revolving around the betrothed couple, Dinorah and Hoël, who are separated in mysterious circumstances during a pilgrimage only to be reunited in the end.

The Deutsche Oper Berlin’s concert performance of DINORAH is the first in a series devoted to great works by Meyerbeer. Over the coming years the cycle will also feature brand-new, full-blown productions of VASCO DA GAMA [L’AFRICAINE]; THE HUGUENOTS and THE PROPHET.