ÉDOUARD LALO: Le roi d’Ys
Rozenn Judith van Wanroij
Margared Kate Aldrich
Mylio Cyrille Dubois
Karnac Jérôme Boutillier
The King of Ys Nicolas Courjal
Saint Corentin / Jahel Christian Helmer
Hungarian National Choir (choirmaster: Csaba Somos)
Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: György Vashegyi
Hungarian premiere as a co-production by Palazzetto Bru Zane and the Hungarian National Philharmonic
Recorded as part of the French Opera series – released by the Bru Zane Label
The Hungarian National Philharmonic Opera season ticket offers plenty of opportunities. The Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hungarian National Choir have the chance to perform in unison, superb vocal soloists will visit us from every part of the world, the operatic works are sure to provide the audience with refreshment in terms of genre and, of course, the choir and orchestra will put their ability to the test in new situations that require a significant degree of musical adaptability. There is something more, however: the Opera season ticket also provides us with an opportunity to discover hidden gems. One genuine rarity that is well worth discovering is Édouard Lalo’s masterpiece, Le roi d’Ys.
The French Romantic, who came from a family of Spanish origin, is best known outside his homeland for his Symphonie espagnole. For French audiences, however, Le roi d’Ys is typically considered his greatest work. The three-act opera, which he completed in 1875, is adapted from a Breton legend. The mythical tale, which features a blend of the motifs of love and war, intrigue and self-sacrifice, reminds us of Wagner. The music’s harmonies and melodies and the heat of passion are also not free of the influence of Lalo’s great German contemporary, while the stylistic hallmarks also bear traces of inspiration from Gounod, and other analysts see it as a predecessor of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande. The production, realised in collaboration with Palazzetto Bru Zane, features a parade of soloists including Judith van Wanroij, Kate Aldrich, Cyrille Dubois, Jérôme Boutillier, Nicolas Courjal and Christian Helmer – primarily French artists, though there are also Dutch and American singers, too. One of György Vashegyi’s goals is lead the Hungarian National Philharmonic in introducing Hungarian audiences to previously less well-known French Romantic operas, and this performance is a fine example of that ambition.