Musical Crime Thriller
Émile Zola’s novel “Thérèse Raquin” is not recommended for those of a delicate disposition. It tells the story of an unscrupulous crime and of insanity and self-destruction. Thérèse and her lover Laurent murder the husband of the young woman. Their love soon turns into a fight to tear each other apart but they ultimately both kill themselves in a suicide pact. Philipp Maintz (photo: Paavo Blåfield) took this material about a husband-murderer for his chamber opera “Thérèse”, which will be premiered at the Salzburg Easter Festival in a co-production with the Hamburg State Opera on 14 April 2019.
A central theme of the opera is the undoing of the two protagonists, which is always present in the libretto. The text works with the clever trick of interlinking the chronological story with the murder scene and the suicide. Philipp Maintz sees a stylistic device in this apparent simultaneity of the events which serves to sharpen the narrative style: “How it is all to end is ever present. By having not only the chronological story but also the elements of the murder and the suicides constantly intermingling on three parallel levels, there is always the aware-ness of this downfall.”
The music theatre work came about through an unusual collaboration, for the libretto is the first one written by Otto Katzameier, who will also take the baritone part of Laurent. Marisol Montalvo will be in the title role while Renate Behle will sing the part of the mother; Georges Delnon is the stage director and the work will be conducted by Nicolas André.
The German premiere will be staged in Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie on 18 May 2019.
Thérèse. Kammeroper nach Emile Zola. Libretto von Otto Katzameier
Uraufführung: 14./17.4.2019 Salzburg, Osterfestpiele (Große Universitätsaula); First performance in Germany: 18./19./21./22.5.2019 Hamburg (Elbphilharmonie), Marisol Montalvo, Otto Katzameier, Renate Behle, Tim Severloh, Mitglieder des Philharmonischen Staatsorchesters Hamburg, conductor: Nicolas André, director: Georges Delnon, set and costumes: Marie-Thérèse Jossen, coproduction with Hamburgische Staatsoper