The Lille Opera opens its season with the Festival “Semele or the crossing of dreams”, which focuses on the musical drama Semele by Händel directed by Barrie Kosky. The opportunity to offer several concerts in resonance, including this “Hypnos” program with La Tempête:
This Festival aims to bring together different proposals around a very specific theme: sleep. In addition to representations of Mixeseight concerts are also offered, and therefore, among them, Hypnos with the vocal and instrumental ensemble La Tempête, guided (as well as the spectators) by their conductor Simon-Pierre Bestion in a spectral walk through the foggy rooms of the Opera.
The choice of repertoire, which includes funeral songs in particular, emphasizes this dark and mysterious atmosphere, linking sleep and death, light anguish and meditation. “The music in this program all have a special connection with the world of hidden, even obscure, forces. explains Simon-Pierre Bestion. This program seeks to rediscover the very strong links that unite the poetic, mystical and therapeutic virtues of music, through mostly sacred works, from different eras but echoing each other”.
The choristers and musicians first gather in La Rotonde (adjoining the ticket office), almost hidden between the columns. Simon-Pierre Bestion conducts the choir, alone in the middle of the room lit only by the whitish glow of a neon light, before the artists join him little by little, intoning the Requiem by Olivier Greif.
The pale, dark and foggy atmosphere recalls the palace of the god of sleep (which will also be found in Mixes with the character of Somnus, Roman equivalent of Hypnos).
On Song for Athens by John Tavener, the artists invite the public to follow them up the stairs leading to the upper galleries, in a sort of ghostly stroll. Their voices echo from the top of the stairs. Upstairs, among the mist and the neon lights arranged in a circle, Simon-Pierre Bestion drives with a grave and serious air while also singing. By performing songs such as Quis dabit capiti meo aquam (Heinrich Isaac, 1492), from the Roman Kyrie, to the more contemporary compositions of Marcel Pérès (Missa ex tempore2015) or Arvo Pärt (Da Pacem Domine, 2004), the artists get back into motion (as they move through the centuries of this sacred repertoire), describing circular trajectories, crossing each other. Their voices, a set of crystalline and guttural sounds at the same time, are everywhere, they permeate the whole space and seem to come from our own imagination, as if coming out of a dream. Powerful bass links to Matteo Pastorino’s bass clarinet, while Adrien Mabire’s cornet merges with the treble of the sopranos, in an intoxicating movement where everything becomes difficult to distinguish.
The performance closes with a song that brings hope, to which the spectators listen with closed eyes, letting themselves go in an exploration of the sensory, the basis of the production of La Tempête.
The company which will perform again during the same weekend for a concert entitled Color (our report to follow) will thus have plunged the public into an enveloping fog of dreams and music, a disturbing, vibrant and hypnotic hour and a half. Although still sleepy, the warm applause of the spectators makes this concert a moment that the river Lethe (the river of oblivion) cannot engulf.
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Hypnos, hypnotizing evening at the Lille Opera – News – Ôlyrix
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