In 2023 no one listens to Cassandra. They stream the free opera

In 2023 no one listens to Cassandra. They stream the free opera


norman lebrecht

September 14, 2023

After La Monnaie’s Henry VIII  a hitherto little-known operatic treasure by Camille Saint-Saëns, it is a world premiere of their new opera that we are lucky enough to discover live, brought to you by Slippedisc courtesy of OperaVision. Belgian composer Bernard Foccroulle, former director of La Monnaie and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, has chosen a highly topical theme for his first opera: ecological activism in the face of societal inertia. Cassandra’s predictions may not have been heeded, but her story has been avidly read for over two thousand years. The Trojan prophetess has found her way into the collective consciousness through some of the greatest writers in literary history: Seneca, Homer, Aeschylus, William Shakespeare, Friedrich Schiller and Christa Wolf. Each shedding different light on her gift and its curse at the heart of Cassandra’s story, these varied sources have today inspired Matthew Jocelyn’s libretto. Thanks to the powerfully evocative music conducted by Kazushi Ono, and sets that transport us in turn to an immense library, a beehive and the heart of a glacier, Cassandra promises to be a powerful and poetic new opera.

Cassandra is sung by  Katarina Bradić and  Sandra by Jessica Niles.

Subtitles in English, French and Dutch.

The Plot: Sandra divides her time between her research into the melting ice caps and stand-up comedy. Disturbed by the impact of human activity on the environment, she wants to use humour to raise awareness. But people around her, even her own family, are sceptical. Just as Cassandra predicted the fall of Troy without being heeded, Sandra predicts the imminent approach of a terrible tragedy but no one is listening.

Live on 14th September 2023 at 2000  CET / 1900 London / 1400 NY