A stage design image by Hugo de Ana, stage director, set&costume designer of Thaïs
The days from February 2nd to 6th will see the premiere of the NCPA (National Centre for the Performing Arts) opera Thaïs, which is produced under the direction of Hugo de Ana, who also serves as set and costume designer in the opera. Plácido Domingo will sing Athanaël, under the baton of French conductor Patrick Fournier. The opera is on a tight schedule for rehearsals. On January 19th, the NCPA invited reporters to the rehearsal hall.
Ermonela Jaho as Thaïs and Marc Barrard as Athanaël
Thaïs is at rehearsal
Thaïs is a masterpiece by Jules Massenet, a key representative figure of lyric opera in the late 19th century. The opera tells a story about friar Athanaël abandoning himself to lust while saving the social butterfly Thais, revealing a clash between soul and flesh, arousing spiritual thinking about beliefs and human nature. Despite the low popularity of this opera among the Chinese audience, the “Meditation” in it is one of the most popular violin pieces with music lovers. At the rehearsal, Scene 2, Act 1 of this opera was presented by the leading performers, including popular soprano Ermonela Jaho, a frequent caller at world’s top opera houses such as the Royal Opera House, the Metropolitan Opera and Teatro alla Scala, French baritone Marc Barrard, and Italian tenor Alessandro Liberatore, a student of Pavarotti. As the singers performed an aria or ensemble with their virtuosic skills to express a belief or lust, the reporters realised that aside from the “Meditation,” other music pieces in the opera also sound splendid, which contain mental and emotional powers.
Thaïs is filled with philosophy of life
Photos by WANG Xiaojing & LING Feng