Sunday, March 20, 2011

Star Trek Messiah

What happens when Mozart does Haendel and the work is taken up again today with a philosophical and contemporary bent? It's been too short a run, but last week was what I'd like to call "Star Trek Messiah," or "Der Messias" at the Theatre du Châtelet. The libretto, a collage of Biblical texts, was sung in German, with meditative texts written and read by Michel Serres.

This performance was like no other you've ever witnessed of "The Messiah." It was not a classic rejoicing but an uneasy questioning, made more poignant when some members of the audience repeatedly yelled at Michel Serres as he recast the musical creation into a contemporary religious experience, with inverted beatitudes.

It felt very much like a close encounter with the final frontiers of humanity... and an attempt to see what can re-humanize the world today.

Benoît Chantre's conferences preceding every performance (as well as his text in the program) provided a coherent backdrop to the choices made for the stage. Oleg Kulik's video expertise was nothing less than amazing.

Théâtre du Châtelet (2011).
Complementary conferences (2011).