20-30 January


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

Running time

1:45, no intermission


From €20


Love and suffering at the origins of opera

Le Lacrime di Eros approaches the 16th and 17th centuries as a breeding ground and a laboratory for opera as an experimental art form. In a dialogue between original Renaissance material by, among others, Caccini, Peri and Monteverdi and contemporary composer Scott Gibbons, love is explored in its many facets. In their unorthodox opera, Raphaël Pichon and Romeo Castellucci celebrate the richness of the artform with Ensemble Pygmalion.

Love and suffering at the origins of opera

How could a masterpiece like Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo come into being? Fascinated by the 16th century as a pivotal period in the genesis of opera, Pichon and Castellucci hark back to the creativity and freedom of experimentation that were so prevalent in Florence at the time. Wondering why there was such a need for opera then, they investigate the urgency of this art form today.

Inspired by the active collaboration and co-creation of the Renaissance composers, the work by the Florentine composers is brought into dialogue with contemporary music by Scott Gibbons. Using original and newly developed instruments, Raphaël Pichon and his Ensemble Pygmalion give a musical answer to the question ‘How can the 16th century sound today?’


Book of Love

Love dominated the opera stages back then and it still does today. But although Le Lacrime di Eros is an opera about love, it is anything but sentimental. Love reveals its true beauty, but at the same time casts the darkest of shadows. In this ‘pasticcio’, its many facets are portrayed visually and musically as chapters in a great ‘Book of Love’ – a perfect challenge for a director as visionary as Romeo Castellucci. With his forceful interpretation of Das Floß der Medusa for DNO a few seasons ago, he proved himself to be a master in combining the different disciplines of opera, performance and the visual arts.

Performance information

Libretto  Combination of original texts with supplements by Claudia Castellucci
Musical direction, concept, arrangements  Raphaël Pichon
Stage direction, concept, set, costume and, lighting design  Romeo Castellucci
Dramaturgy  Piersandra di Matteo
Sound  Rémy Bréan

Mariana Flores
Huw Montague Rendall
Nahuel di Pierro
Lucile Richardot
Zachary Wilder

Orchestra & Chorus  Pygmalion

Florentine music from 1580 to 1620

Sung in Italian

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Since its foundation by Raphaël Pichon in 2006, the French ensemble Pygmalion has acquired both national and international fame. The ensemble is in residence at the Opéra National de Bordeaux and regularly performs on the world’s most prestigious stages. With their distinctive identity as a chorus and orchestra playing historical instruments, Pygmalion strives to create original creations that underline their individuality. In January 2022, the acclaimed French ensemble will celebrate the richness of opera as an art form with Le Lacrime di Eros, conducted by their own Raphaël Pichon and directed by Romeo Castelluci.

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