On February 2, an extraordinary visual production, Pelléas et Mélisade, will debut at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen. The opera is a collaboration between artist artist Marco Brambilla, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Damien Jalet, Marina Abramović, and Iris Van Herpen. It is an abstract take on Claude Debussy‘s 1902 Pelléas et Mélisade, fittingly premiering this year, which marks the centennial of the French composer’s death.
The remarkable set imaged by Abramović includes a concave mirror with a backdrop that merges seamlessly to create the impression of being inside a silver eyeball. At the center of the “retina” a suspended “iris” will screen Brambilla’s video compositions. This screen acts as a portal into the subconscious of the characters onstage. Costumes envisioned by Van Herpen will take the viewers on a surrealist journey through a series of celestial pathways. Their performances directed by Cherkaoui and Jalet will create a psychological portal of loneliness, violence, drama, resolution, and death.