What is friendship? The same soul in two bodies," replied Aristotle. The same soul in two camps, one might be tempted to add, when listening to David et Jonathas. When this biblical tragedy begins, war is raging between the Israelites and the Philistines. David is Jonathas' best friend, but the two men find themselves on opposing sides. Will their friendship survive this fratricidal struggle? Probably not: this is a tragedy, and we can expect to see one of them die in the other's arms. Nevertheless, to accompany Jonathas into the next world, Marc-Antoine Charpentier composed some of his most moving pages: music that will move us for centuries to come.
No, I would rather perish a thousand times myself.David and Jonathan
Among deadly horrors,
In the face of futile fury,
I would seek and save what I love.
In 1688, David and Jonathas was premiered by students at the Lycée Louis-Le-Grand in Paris: a special situation that allowed Charpentier to bypass the royal privilege enjoyed by Lully and present his first operatic masterpiece. Is it because it was intended to be performed by teenagers that the characters are imbued with an uncommon immediacy and spontaneity. Avoiding grandiloquent effects, the opera plunges us into the heart of their dramatic truth. Particular care has been taken to ensure the coherence of the work, with a text commissioned from writer Wilfried N'Sondé.
A key figure in the Baroque galaxy, Sébastien Daucé is part of a new generation of French conductors who have shaken up the music's codes and restored it to a central position. Organist, harpsichordist and director of the ensemble Correspondance, he has opted for passion as his sole guiding force, patiently bringing to light rare gems and forgotten masterpieces. Three seasons ago, he should have made his debut in Nancy with Le Ballet royal de la nuit, but Covid decided otherwise, transforming the celebration into a missed appointment. Today the situation has been rectified. For the occasion, he is collaborating with Jean Bellorini, director of the Théâtre National Populaire. A lover of great literary texts, he is used to mixing theatre and music in powerful productions. We can trust him to sublimate the music and dramatic force of this David and Jonathas.
2 h 45 with interval
5 — 85 €
in French, surtitles
All audiences from 12 years
Introduction to the performance
45 minutes before the start of the performance (free of charge, upon presentation of ticket).
The January 18 performance offers a single price of 10€ for students and/or under 30 years old in the best categories!
The January 18 performance features audio description. Bookings on 03 83 85 30 60
David and Jonathan, biblical tragedy in five acts with prologue
First performed at Collège des Jésuites Louis-le-Grand in Paris on 25 February 1688
François de Paule Bretonneau
Théâtre de Caen
Opéra national de Lorraine, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Opéra de Lille, Théâtre National Populaire
First performed at Théâtre de Caen on 9 and 11 November 2023
Jean Bollorini, Véronique Chazal