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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Le Soulier de Satin, by Marc-André Dalbavie


Opéra National de Paris / Paris / Music

Grand opera returns with a vengeance in the form of Marc-André Dalbavie’s seven-hour world-premiere adaptation of Paul Claudel’s 12-hour Le Soulier de Satin, the cloak-and-dagger costume drama that asks, Can unconsummated passion light the way to salvation? A poet, playwright, devout Catholic, and career diplomat in the French foreign service, Claudel published his script in 1929 with faint hope of ever seeing it in performance. In a handful of rare productions beginning in the 1940s, Le Soulier de Satin has proved a sensation. Set in the Spanish Golden Age as the 16th century bleeds into the 17th, the action circles the globe and even spirals into the heavens. Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI to you, is said to be a big fan. —M.G.

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Opéra National de Paris Place de la Bastille, 75012 Paris, France
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