© Véronique de Viguerie / Dohouk, Kurdistan irakien- 2014
World premiere - Thierry Escaich & Atiq Rahimi
- Opéra de Lyon
- 1 hour 45 minutes
- In French
The composer Thierry Escaich’s second opera. An original work, with a libretto by the winner of the Prix Goncourt 2008 Atiq Rahimi: Shirine comes over as a fantasia !
Shirine, Princess of Armenia, a woman of great modernity and a figure of emancipation, falls head over heels in love with Khosrow. It is this story of an impossible love, an epic stretching over three generations, full of twists and turns, which has been written for this new opera by the author Atiq Rahimi, who won the Prix Goncourt in 2008. And it is these heart-felt vibrations which have been set to music by Thierry Escaich for this creation.
Telling the tale of the impossible love of Khosrow, the King of Persia, and Shirine, a Christian Princess of Armenia, Shirine is an epic full of twists and turns, marked by doom and death. This story, which extends over three generations, has been adapted by Atiq Rahimi from the work of the 12th-century Persian poet Nizami Gandjavi.
A Persian fantasia
In 2013, Thierry Escaich had already given the Opéra de Lyon Claude, with a libretto by Robert Badinter. So for this new creation, the composer and world-famous organist – his three Organ Concertos have been played worldwide – turned to the assistance of an extremely particular librettist: the Franco-Afghan author Atiq Rahimi who won the Prix Goncourt in 2008 with Syngué Sabour, The Patience Stone. After the prison world where Claude is set, Thierry Escaich may well be dealing here with quite a different universe – of tales and legends – but there can still be found the same compositional touch, that famous “liturgy of anxiety” and a unique musical sensitivity, on this occasion heightened by oriental colours inspired by traditional Iranian music. With Shirine, which is also a reflection about representation, the composer opens himself up to a metaphorical writing which glides slowly towards a Persian fantasy. This dimension is backed up by the staging of Richard Brunel (Alexander von Zemlinsky’s Le Cercle de Craie at the Opéra de Lyon in 2018), as well as a vocal cast made up of great, young talents (Julien Behr and Hélène Guilemette in the roles of Khosrow and Shirine).
Opera in twelve tableaux, 2019
Libretto by Atiq Rahimi, after Khosrow o Shirin by Nizami Gandjavi (1141-1209)
World premiere, commissioned by the Opéra de Lyon
Orchestre, Studio et Chœurs de l'Opéra de Lyon