Il Ritorno d'Ulisse

9, 12, 13, 15, 19, 20, 22 May ­20:00
10, 16, 17 May 15:00
French and Dutch simultaneous translation

William Kentridge, the South African visual artist, animated film-maker and director, is staging his first opera with the Handspring Puppet Company. But instead of a large orchestral production, he is tackling it as a chamber piece with Philippe Pierlot, the musical director, six musicians, five puppeteers, seven singers and thirteen puppets.

In this rendition of Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d'Ulisse (1641), Ulysses is no longer in Ithaca. Lying in a Johannesburg hospital, he is a frail man hanging on to life and remembering the epic of the Greek hero in his dreams. The intimist opera invites us to a new odyssey: to film and music, to the human voice and puppets, to the twentieth century, Monteverdi's Venice and mythical Greece.

Productions of Woyzeck on the Highveld and Faustus in Africa were brought to Brussels in 1994 and 1996. From this association with the kunstenFESTIVALdesArts and the resulting lengthy discussions, this creation by the Handspring Puppet Company, in association with la Monnaie and the Wiener Festwochen, has emerged.

Musical direction: Philippe Pierlot
Direction: William Kentridge
Concept puppets: Handspring Puppet Company
Ensemble: Ricercar Consort
Production: La Monnaie/De Munt (Brussels), Handspring Puppet Company (Johannesburg), Wiener Festwochen (Wien), kunstenFESTIVALdesArts
This production is made possible with special public funds of the Flemish governement

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