“I am incredibly excited to be bringing this great opera to Melbourne” – Sir Andrew Davis, Chief Conductor
Dress up for the red carpet of the MSO’s Mid-Season Gala and immerse yourself in Massenet’s famous rollercoaster of purity, piety and lust.
Set in Byzantine, Thaïs by French composer Massenet tells the story of a monk named Athanaël (Quinn Kelsey), who attempts to convert an Alexandrian courtesan, Thaïs (Erin Wall – “the Thaïs of one’s dreams”, according to Sir Andrew), to Christianity.
His belief that he is doing God’s work comes unstuck when he realises that he was in fact driven by desire the whole time – a realisation that unfortunately only strikes once he has had Thaïs expelled to a nunnery to have her sins absolved. Dismayed, Athanaël repudiates his vows and rushes to find a sickly Thaïs on her deathbed. Despite his declarations of love, will he be able to keep her alive?
MSO Chief Conductor Sir Andrew Davis wants audiences to know that this is not one to be missed. “The opera’s strange mixture of religious fervour and eroticism is what creates its power.”
Sensuous and exotic, this is Thaïs.
Sir Andrew Davis conductor
Erin Wall soprano (Thaïs)
Quinn Kelsey baritone (Athanaël)
Diego Silva tenor (Nicias)
Daniel Sumegi bass (Palémon / Servant)
Liane Keegan alto (Albine)
Jacqueline Porter soprano (Crobyle)
Fiona Campbell mezzo-soprano (Myrtale)
Eva Kong soprano (La Charmeuse)
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Pre-concert talk: 6.45pm in Hamer Hall MSO Director of Artistic Planning, Ronald Vermeulen, takes audiences through a 30-minute discussion of Thaïs.
Running time: 2 hours and 10 minutes