@Home > Pelleas et Melisande
First performed April 30, 1902.
Libretto by Maurice Maeterlinck (in French).
|A Summary of gPelleas et Melisandeh
In legendary times in the imaginary kingdom of
Allemonde, Golaud, who is a grandson of King Arkel, decides to run away from
the King, and loses his way in a forest. He happens to meet a girl crying,
Melisande, by a spring. Although King Arkel has recommended Golaud marry
another woman, Golaud wants to marry Melisande. He writes a letter to his half-brother,
Pelleas. Golaud asks Pelleas to explain to King Arkel through his mediation.
Then, Golaud and Melisande are able to come back to the castle.
One day, Pelleas invites Melisande to go to gThe Blind
Spring.h But, Melisande loses her wedding ring in the spring. After she comes
home, Golaud notices that she is not wearing her ring. He is furious at her.
Several days later, on a beautiful starry night, Melisande
combs her beautiful long hair by the window of the tower. Pelleas sees her
beautiful hair, and he is attracted to it. Her hair hangs from the window, and Pelleas
takes her hair in his hand. In addition, he holds her hair passionately.
Golaud stares at them from his hiding place. Golaud
appears, and he warns Pelleas. Golaud tells him that Melisande is pregnant.
Pelleas decides to set out on a wandering journey. The night before departure,
he embraces Melisande by the spring. Then, Golaud appears, and he stabs
Pelleas to death with a dagger. Melisande runs away, and Golaud pursues
Melisande has the baby, even though she has been fatally injured by Golaud.
Melisande said, gI loved him, but I have never sinned.h Then, she dies
while she gazes at her baby.
|A Comment on gPelleas et Melisandeh
|Claude Debussy, who is a famous French composer, composed only one
opera, gPelleas et Melisande.h He
is famous for his piano works, for example, gClair de luneh and gLa fille aux
cheveux de lin.h But, when Debussy was a student in Conservatoire de Paris, he
admired Richard Wagner, and he was influenced by the Wagnerfs opera, gTristan
und Isolde.h Then, Debussy parts from Wagnerfs influence, and builds his
original music technique. Entering the 20th century, Debussy composed this
opera which is at the oppsite end of the scale to gTristan und Isolde.h He created
a new opera world.
The original of gPelleas et Melisandeh is Maurice
Maeterlinckfs drama. Maeterlinck is a Belgian poet who is famous for his use of
symbolism. gL'Oiseau bleu (The Blue Bird)h is a play by him. gPelleas
et Melisandeh is filled with implying style. Debussy
composed this opera, in a metaphorical way, for example the world wrapped in a
dense fog. He realized beautiful opera scenes through sensuous
There are not any arias in this opera, but you wonft be disappointed.
This opera is sung in a soft French tone. The best part of this opera is, so to
speak, the whole atmosphere. The scene of which Melisandefs hair hangs
from the window is one of the most famous scenes on this opera.
|Gluck, C. W. (1714-1787)
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Mozart, W. A. (1756-1791)
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Beethoven, L. v. (1770-1827)
Weber, C. M. v. (1786-1826)
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Verdi, G. (1813-1901)
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Bizet, G. (1838-1875)
Tchaikovsky, P. J. (1840-1893)
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Humperdinck, E. (1854-1921)
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Leoncavallo, R. (1858-1919)
Mascagni, P. (1863-1945)
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Debussy, C. (1862-1918)
@- Pelleas et Melisande
Strauss, R. (1864-1949)
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