Le Voyage dans la Lune
The Greek National Opera’s partnership with one of the most important and historic opera houses in Europe, the Opéra Comique in Paris, is launching with an adaptation of Offenbach’s Le Voyage dans la Lune, staged and with costumes by the acclaimed French director Laurent Pelly, and featuring the children’s and youth choruses of both institutions.
Director Laurent Pelly and dramaturg Agathe Mélinand adapted this exquisite work with an inventiveness and collective spirit that’s sure to impress young and old alike.
Le Voyage dans la Lune is a four-act opéra-féérie by Jacques Offenbach, with a libretto by Albert Vanloo, Eugène Leterrier, and Arnold Mortier based loosely on the Jules Verne novels From the Earth to the Moon and Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
The work was written in the wake of the success enjoyed by the novels of Jules Verne. Combining fantastical elements with the scientific achievements of the time, the production invested heavily in phantasmagoria and grand spectacle elements. These included two ballet troupes, as well as 20 painted backdrops and 673 costumes designed especially for the purposes of the production. Audiences were also treated to the sight of a cannon on stage, which shot the characters to the Moon, not to mention a volcanic eruption and a rendition of the Paris Observatory’s main hall.
When first presented in 1875, the production was such a sensation that no less than seven different variety performances in the French capital referenced it directly in the season that followed. In 1876, Le Voyage dans la Lune was presented in London and Vienna; meanwhile, its Paris run ended after a total of 185 performances, only for the show to open again on a new stage before the year was out!
In this new adaptation of the work, the complex scenic demands made by the libretto give way to the imagination, while the libretto, music, and staging create a dream-like world for the young performers of the Children’s and Youth Choruses of the GNO and Opéra Comique.
This production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the GNO’s artistic outreach.