Les Mamelles de Tirésias
An opera by Francis Poulenc
To mark the centenary of WW1 and Women’s Suffrage, the annual opera from Euphonia Studio will be Les Mamelles de Tirésias (The Breasts of Tiresias) by Francis Poulenc.
A riotous farce full of gorgeous tunes and lush harmonies, Poulenc’s opera, written in 1945, is a setting of Apollinaire’s 1903 surrealistic play inspired by the story from Greek mythology of the Theban soothsayer Tiresias.
Poulenc (whose centenary is also celebrated this year) inverted the myth to produce a provocative interpretation with feminist and pacifist elements. It tells the story of Thérèse, who changes her sex to obtain power among men with the aim of changing customs, subverting the past and establishing equality between the sexes.
Brilliant and yet rarely performed – this is the only production to be mounted in Britain this year – this opera is also immensely topical, in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Alisdair Kitchen is director and designer – taking inspiration from the films of Charlie Chaplin – in addition to music directing. The title role will be sung by returning Festival favourite, soprano Louise Fuller, who played Musetta in last year’s La Bohème. Making his Festival debut as ‘Le Mari’ is the distinguished young New Zealand baritone Kieran Rayner. Jonathan Musgrave accompanies in a solo piano version by the composer. The opera is sung in French with English surtitles.
Praise in Rye News for last year’s opera production, La Bohème:
“A powerfully affecting and original production with boisterous camaraderie, great good humour, immense tenderness and deep emotion conveyed with artistry and conviction… Alisdair Kitchen presented a great and familiar opera in such a way as to make its inexhaustibility still clearer”.
DOORS OPEN: 18:45
EVENT STARTS: 19:30
DURATION: 1 hour approx.
Disabled Access, Hearing Loop, Bar, Free Parking.