Médée

In 2014 OPERA2DAY presented a repeat season of its successful production of Médée. This is a staging of one of the most dramatic works of the entire opera literature, composed by Luigi Cherubini. This flamboyant work – once one of the signature works of Maria Callas – dramatizes the revenge of Medea as she is deserted by Jason.  She murders both Jason’s new lover, and as the ultimate act of revenge, also the two children she had with him. According to NRC, OPERA2DAY made it into a 'bloodcurdling performance that left the audience shattered'.

Dutch premiere of the original version

Médée is the masterwork of the Italian composer Luigi Cherubini (1760 – 1842). He wrote it at the pinnacle of his career for the Théâtre Feydeau in Paris, where it was premiered on 13 March. The work also became a magnum opus for the librettist, François-Benoît. The text was based on a tragedy by Corneille that in turn was based on Euripides and Seneca.

Musically, the work is a flagship of the opera genre. Cherubini developed his own idiom which later became the basis for the Grand ópera in France. Great composers were also admirers.  Beethoven wrote to Cherubini in a letter, ‘I admire your theatrical work more than anything […] true art is imperishable and the true artist feels genuine pleasure at the work of a genius, and that happens to me when I hear your works.  I actually deem your work better than my own compositions.  In short, I love you and honour you’. Brahms said that, ‘this Médée is, amongst musicians, the work that we recognize as the highest pinnacle of dramatic music’.          

A new form of opéra-comique

Since the premiere was in the Théâtre Feydeau, Cherubini bound his tragedy to the conventions of the ‘opéra-comique’. This does not mean that the work is comic, but that the music is combined with spoken text. The hybrid form is a tragedy in itself: in dramatic moments, the music is sometimes suddenly silent.  This form certainly curbed the spread of the work.  The opera became most popular in adapted versions (with the addition of composed recitatives in the style of Wagner or verisimo). A 20e century Italian version became the standard for a long time since it was the one which Maria Callas made famous.The original French version has only made a come-back in the past years in a few theatres.

As already mentioned, the use of the opéra-comique form was for a long time a tragedy for the work. But we see this now as an opportunity.  The moments when the music is silent are an invitation to use to the work to bring the audience even closer.   This was perhaps the aim of the texts in their time. However, the pompous dialogues and monologues in old French would achieve the opposite today: they create distance. We see it as an adventure to create a new and modern version of this work.

OPERA2DAY takes great pleasure in being inspired in new ways by the old. We are delighted to bring the original French version of Médée in a contemporary manner for the first time on the Dutch stage.

Hommage to the French opera tradition in The Hague

This project is also a hommage to the famous French-inspired opera tradition of The Hague. This tradition goes back to the 17e century, but from 1704 it gained an official form in the association Théatre Français de la Haye. At the start, performances were given four times a week in a bowling hall by varying French companies. From 1804 until the end of the association in 1919, the Koninklijke Schouwburg was used. After one hundred years, we were picking up the thread at the same place – our home theatre in The Hague. And then with a work of Cherubini who was extremely popular in the Koninklijke Schouwburg. His Les Deux Journées was particularly popular here. 

Trailers

Trailer with performance footage

Trailer with background information

 

With thanks to

The revival of this production is made possible thanks to the support of:

Gemeente Den Haag
Fonds Podiumkunsten
Stichting VSBfonds 
Stichting Het Hervormd Weeshuis
Van der Mandele Stichting
Stichting Casterenshoeve
Gemeente Zwolle
Gemeente Hoorn
Gemeente Heerlen
Provincie Limburg
Coöperatiefonds Rabobank Hoorn
Rabobank Coöperatief Fonds Amstel en Vecht
Rabobank Stimuleringsfonds Den Haag en omgeving

 

The first season of this production was made possible thanks to the support of:

Gemeente Den Haag
Gemeente Alkmaar
VSBfonds
Cultuurfonds van de Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten
Cultuurschakel
Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds
Fonds 1818
Stichting Bevordering van Volkskracht
Stichting Fonds Schiedam Vlaardingen e.o.
Stichting H. Muller's Vaderlandsch Fonds
Van Ommeren - De Voogt Stichting
Stichting Niemeijer Fonds
Fonds Rabobank Coöperatief Dividend Alkmaar
Dr. Hofsteestichting
Van Cappellen Stichting
Stichting Elise Mathilde fonds
Société Gavigniés
Sonar appartementen

Médée, the daughter of the king, priestess and sorceress from Colchis, has some dirty washing. Against the wishes of her father, she helps Jason to obtain the Golden Fleece, an act that is the beginning of an unparalleled drama.  Fleeing beaten with Jason and his Argonauts, she first murders her brother and then casts the pieces of his cut up body into the sea. She then forces her father to stop the chase. The lovers sail to Iolcus, where, as arranged, Jason must deliver the Golden Fleece in order to regain the throne of his family. But this doesn’t go to plan:  Jason’s evil uncle, Pelias, who is reigning illegally, considers reneging on his promise. Another massacre follows, in which Médée again plays a role. The death of Pelias however, does not deliver the desired result, since one of his sons was a member of the Argonauts and is now intent on revenge. Again, Jason en Médée must flee, this time to Corinth, where the opera begins.

The shadows of the past begin to darken. Jason is warmly welcomed to the court of Créon and brings in the Golden Fleece, the symbol of immortality. The king sees in Jason the ideal husband for his daughter Dircé, and for Jason this wedding would ensure a good future for him and his children. Dircé though, fears Médée’s revenge and is difficult to calm. As Médée eventually arrives and claims her husband, the situation becomes heated. In the events of the past, Créon finds a stick with which to beat Médée. She must give up her two children and be expelled from the kingdom. Médée’s revenge is horrifying. She not only drives Créon to insanity, but then kills Dircé, and as the ultimate revenge on Jason, then murders the children they had together. Only Jason is spared, so that he must mourn his loss until the end of time.

Artistic team

Conductor Hernán Schvartzman
Stage director Serge van Veggel
Scenography Herbert Janse
Lighting Uri Rapaport
Costumes Joost van Wijmen
Adaptation text Minnekus de Groot
Composer soundscape Ezequiel Menalled
Sound design Ángel Faraldo


Cast and crew 2013

Cast         

Médée Capucine Chiaudani, Maribeth Diggle 

Jason Dario Schmunck

Dircé Alexandra Schoeny, Laura Pisani

Créon Huub Claessens

Néris Barbara Kozelj

Première Femme Laura Pisani, Alexandra Schoeny

Deuxième Femme Carolina Luppers

Children Nathan van Dalen, Ties Maas / Martijn van Ditshuizen, Michael Nederhoed

Capitaine Tomer Pawlicki

 

Orchestra

Violin 1 Monica Waisman (aanvoerder), Rebecca Huber, Lucia Giraudo, Jacek Kurzydlo, Prisca Stamarskl, Veronika Manova

Violin 2 Sara de Corso, Luca Alfonso Rizzello, Elise van der Wel, Annegret Hoffman, Rachel Stroud, Asuka Sumi

Viola Kayo Saito, Seung Rok Baek, Claire Fahy, Enrique Gómez

Cello Nina Hitz, Anton Baba, Nika Zlátaric

Double bass Silvia Jimenez, Chen Goldsobel

Traverso Carolina Perez Bergliaffa, Melody Yeomans

Oboe Diego Nadra, Antonio Sanchez

Clarinet Michal Lewkowicz, Kayo Nishida

Bassoon Gergo Farkas, Kim Stockx

Horn Lionel Pointet, Hylke Rozema, Fabio Forgiarini, Renske Wijma

Trombone Kate Rocket, Dominic Sierat

Timpani Gustaf Holst

 

Chorus

Soprano Lisanne Boersma, Pauline Doolaard, Nina van Essen, Dorinde Gudde, Paulien Jansen, Astrid Klinkenberg, Sari Kramer, Wendy Krikken, Ria Schmitz, Anna Trombetta, Susanne Winkler

Alto Irina Bedicova, Inge Brouwer, Vera Bruggeling, Wendy Davids, Marine Fribourg, Rients van Goudoever, Monica ten Hagen, Renée Joosse, Marieke Morshuis, Judith van Ree    

Tenor Gerard den Besten, Dick Boersema, Chris Chamoun, Matic Gajsek, Pierre Olivier, John Visser

Bass Jorne van Bergeijk, Yoni van den Brink, Matthew Goode, Chris Holtslag, Jaap Mooij, Jouke Osinga

 

Crew

Production Alice Gubler en Tineke Verheij

Production orchestra Christina Schoenbach

Production chorus Pauline Doolaard

Assistent artistic director Lieke van Hoogenhuijze

Stage manager Onno Heerlien

Stage manager cues Jordi Oostrik

Assistent stage director Florie Bos

Coordinator education project Mieke van der Ven

Chorus conductor Marine Fribourg

Physical theatre training Willy Verkuyl


Cast and crew 2014

 

Cast         

Médée Sabrina Cirera, Maribeth Diggle 

Jason Erik Slik

Dircé Alexandra Schoeny, Laura Pisani

Créon Huub Claessens

Néris Marjolein Niels

Première Femme Laura Pisani, Alexandra Schoeny

Deuxième Femme Carolina Luppers

Children Thijs Bedaux & Melle Terpstra, Nathan van Dalen & Ties Maas, Martijn van de Beek & Gino Krol, Martijn van Ditshuizen & Michael Nederhoed

Capitaine Onno Heerlien

 

Orchestra

Violin 1 Monica Waisman (aanvoerder), Tomoe Badiarov (plv aanvoerder), Roberto Rutkauskas, Jacek Kurzydlo, Prisca Stamarski, Veronika Manova, Noyuri Hazama

Violin 2 John Wilson Mayer, Luca Rizzello, Elise van der Wel, Seojin Kim, Raphael Font, Alba Encinas

Viola Claire Fahy, Seung Rok Baek, Hilla Heller, Sam Kennedy

Cello Nina Hitz, Anton Baba, Nika Zlátaric

Double bass Silvia Jimenez, Marta Vicente

Traverso Carolina Perez Bergliaffa, Melody Yeomans

Oboe Diego Nadra, Robert de Bree, Gilberto Caseiro

Clarinet Oscar Arguelles, Kayo Nishida

Bassoon Carles Vallès Castelló, Gergo Farkas, Hugo Rodriguez

Horn Hylke Rozema, Fabio Forgiarini, Renske Wijma, Daniele Bolanella

Trombone Kate Rocket

Timpani Gustaf Holst

 

Chorus

Soprano Mirjam Biegstraaten, Alice Boccafogli, Bernadett Fulep-Hegy, Dorinde Gudde, Astrid Klinkenberg, Ria Schmitz, Dalma Sule, Susanne Winkler

Alto Vera Bruggeling, Wendy Davids, Rients van Goudoever, Annette Hellinga, Maartje Heiblom, Lot Hooghiemstra, Marieke Morshuis, Judith van der Ree, Karen Sanders    

Tenor Kees de Groot, Pierre Olivier, Ruben Timmer, John Visser, Dick Boersema

Bass Matthew Goode, Jaap Mooij, Jouke Osinga, Nathan Tax

 

Crew

Production manager Jolanda de Heus

Coordination chorus Jouke Osinga

Assistent production and accompaniment children Sylvia van der Sluys

Assistent production and orchestra Désirée Achterkamp

Stage manager Onno Heerlien

Stage manager cues Jordi Oostrik

Assistent stage director Florie Bos

Coordinator education project Mieke van der Ven

Chorus conductor Patrick Pranger

Physical theatre training Willy Verkuyl

Médée - Trailer

video

Médée - Backgrounds

video

About Médée: director Serge van Veggel

video

About Médée: dirigent Hernän Schvartzman

video
No current calendar dates found for this production.

Saturday 29 Nov 2014 - 20:15 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg


Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 0900 3456789 (10cpm)

Friday 28 Nov 2014 - 20:15 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg


Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 0900 3456789 (10cpm)

Wednesday 26 Nov 2014 - 20:00 HOUR

Parkstad Limburg Theaters, Heerlen


Thursday 20 Nov 2014 - 19:30 HOUR

Parktheater, Eindhoven

Parktheater


Addres: Elzentlaan 50
City: 5615 CN Eindhoven
Phone: 040 - 2111122

Thursday 13 Nov 2014 - 19:30 HOUR

Stadsschouwburg, Nijmegen


Addres: Keizer Karelplein 32h
City: 6511 NH Nijmegen
Phone: 024-3221100

Wednesday 05 Nov 2014 - 19:30 HOUR

Schouwburg het Park, Hoorn


Saturday 01 Nov 2014 - 19:30 HOUR

Deventer Schouwburg, Deventer

Deventer Schouwburg


Addres: Leeuwenbrug 2
City: 7411 TJ Deventer
Phone: 0900 3000 200

Friday 31 Oct 2014 - 20:00 HOUR

Schouwburg Amstelveen, Amstelveen


Thursday 30 Oct 2014 - 19:30 HOUR

Theater De Spiegel, Zwolle


Addres: Spinhuisplein 14
City: 8011 ZZ Zwolle
Phone: 0900-1435

Tuesday 28 Oct 2014 - 19:30 HOUR

Stadsgehoorzaal, Vlaardingen


Monday 09 Dec 2013 - 19:30 HOUR

Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Rotterdam


Sunday 08 Dec 2013 - 19:00 HOUR

TAQA Theater De Vest, Alkmaar


Addres: Canadaplein 2
City: 1811 KE Alkmaar
Phone: 072-5489999

Friday 06 Dec 2013 - 20:15 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg


Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 0900 3456789 (10cpm)

Wednesday 27 Nov 2013 - 20:15 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg


Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 0900 3456789 (10cpm)

Tuesday 26 Nov 2013 - 20:15 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg


Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 0900 3456789 (10cpm)

Monday 25 Nov 2013 - 20:15 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg


Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 0900 3456789 (10cpm)

Saturday 23 Nov 2013 - 20:15 HOUR

Theater aan de Schie, Schiedam


Addres: Stadserf 1
City: 3112 DZ Schiedam
Phone: 010-2467467

Friday 22 Nov 2013 - 19:30 HOUR

Theater aan de Schie, Schiedam


Addres: Stadserf 1
City: 3112 DZ Schiedam
Phone: 010-2467467

Ticket sales

Tickets can be ordered by clicking on the playlist and choosing which date you would like. You will then be sent to the ticket sales webpage of the relevant theatre. You can order your tickets directly online there and they will be sent to you. You can also contact the theatre directly for questions concerning ticket sales.

Performance duration

The performance of Médée lasts approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes, including a 30 minute interval after the second act. After the first act, there is a change of scene and a tuning break whilst the audience remains in the hall.

Programme booklets

A programme booklet is available with information about the background of the production, a synopsis and biographical information about the cast and co-workers.

Accessibility

Click on the name of the relevant theatre where you will be sent to a link with information about routes, public transport and parking possibilities for the various theatres.

Stadsgehoorzaal Vlaardingen, Schiedamseweg 51, 3134 BB Vlaardingen
Theater De Spiegel, Spinhuisplein 14, 8011 ZZ Zwolle
Schouwburg Amstelveen, Stadsplein 100, 1181 ZM Amstelveen
Deventer Schouwburg, Leeuwenbrug 2, 7411 TJ Deventer
Het Park Hoorn, Westerdijk 4, 1621 LE Hoorn
Stadsschouwburg Nijmegen, Keizer Karelplein 32h, 6511 NH Nijmegen
Parktheater Eindhoven, Theaterpad 1, 5615 EN Eindhoven
Parkstad Limburg Theaters, Burgemeester van Grunsvenplein 145, 6411 AS Heerlen
Koninklijke Schouwburg, Korte Voorhout 3, 2511 CW Den Haag

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    'Terrifying performance'

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  • NRC-recensent Kasper Jansen