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History

Pelléas et Mélisande

Composed in 1895, Pelléas et Mélisande is the only opera Claude Debussy ever completed. It is considered a landmark in 20th-century music.

Performed in five acts, the story is about the love triangle between Prince Golaud, Mélisande, a mysterious young woman lost in a forest whom he marries and Golaud’s younger half-brother Pelléas, who has a passionate relationship with Mélisande. In the end this is a classic tale of love, betrayal and death.

Set in the mythical kingdom of Allemonde, the era is not indicated, but the ambience of the story is medieval, more suggestive than specific.

It premiered at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on April 30,1902, was performed at the Met in 2011 then returned almost a decade later in its 2018–19 season.

 

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