Marion Cotillard has taken on the role of Joan of Arc in Arthur Honegger’s oratorio Jeanne au bûcher (Joan at the stake) before, 2005 in Orléans and a little over a year ago in Barcelona. Just now New York Philharmonic are currently announcing their 2014/15 season in a webcast. And there’s great news, they tweeted:
2014-15 season finale: Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake with Oscar winner Marion Cotillard! New York Premiere of this staging
Joan of Arc is “1 of my greatest experiences as an actress.” -Marion Cotillard. Her mom played the role too (tweet)
We will post more information as it becomes available!
New York Premiere Staging of HONEGGER’S JOAN OF ARC AT THE STAKE with MARION COTILLARD and Actors from the Comédie–Française Directed by Côme de Bellescize
Continuing the Philharmonic’s recent emphasis on staged productions of operatic and theatrical works, the Orchestra will present the New York Premiere of director Côme de Bellescize’s staging of Arthur Honegger’s dramatic oratorio Joan of Arc at the Stake in season-finale performances, June 10–13, 2015, conducted by Alan Gilbert. The cast will include Academy Award–winning actress Marion Cotillard as Joan; Comédie-Française members Éric Génovèse as Brother Dominique and Christian Gonon as the Narrator; soprano Simone Osborne as Marguerite; mezzo-soprano Faith Sherman as Catherine; and tenor Thomas Blondelle and bass Steven Humes in multiple roles. The ensemble of actors and soloists will all make their Philharmonic debuts in these performances.
The staging is inspired by a gothic cathedral square: Joan and her stake are positioned on a platform in the middle of the orchestra where, just before dying, she watches flashbacks of her life unfold around her on a platform that surrounds the orchestra. In his production notes, Mr. Bellescize writes: “Joan is in the heart of the orchestra, and when the stake ignites, it is the music which burns Joan’s body and transforms her into a figure of divine love.”
French actress Marion Cotillard has said that she has long felt a connection to Joan of Arc in this telling; her mother, actress Niseema Theillaud, also portrayed Joan in Honegger’s oratorio. Ms. Cotillard has appeared as Honegger’s Joan twice before, both in concert versions: with the Orléans Orchestra in 2005 and the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra in 2012.
Alan Gilbert said: “Marion Cotillard is one of my heroes and a brilliant actress. Joan of Arc is probably Honegger’s greatest work: it’s a dramatic and piercing telling of this most serious of stories. It’s such a pleasure to hear these scores played by the New York Philharmonic. There’s a lot to learn by having to tell a story through music, with the drama primary and forward rather than underpinning: it’s what we should be doing all the time.”
Côme de Bellescize said: “Honegger wrote this oratorio just before the Second World War, when it could have been a nationalistic opera: ‘We will resist! We will fight!’ But it’s really the opposite: it is about going out of the darkness and trying to find the light with the power of love. I am so happy to have the great chance to work with the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert. The whole world meets together in New York, and I think there is something universal to say with this production. It’s a great pleasure and honor to have the opportunity to work with Marion, especially for a play that has such meaning for her.”
Marion Cotillard said: “It is a great joy for me to be part of this tremendous adventure of Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher staged by the inspired Côme de Bellescize. Sharing this experience with the New York Philharmonic and the great actors Éric Génovèse and Christian Gonon will be an amazing journey. I want to warmly thank Alan Gilbert and Matthew VanBesien for offering us such a great opportunity. I feel so lucky and I am looking forward to sharing this work, which is, at this point, one of my greatest experiences as an actress.”
Mr. Bellescize first created this production of Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake for Japan’s Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto in 2012. The project was initiated by festival director Seiji Ozawa (whom Alan Gilbert considers a mentor) and actress Isabel Karajan, who performed the title role in the 2012 production, as a tribute to her father, the late conductor Herbert von Karajan. Mr. Génovèse, Mr. Gonon, Ms. Osborne, and Mr. Blondelle also appeared in the 2012 production, and will reprise their roles in New York.
Arthur Honegger (1892–1955) joined the French Resistance during World War II, and although the Nazis allowed him to continue composing, he became depressed by the war and composed some of his most emotional works during and after. Originally commissioned by actress Ida Rubenstein in 1935, Joan of Arc at the Stake (1938) utilizes a libretto by French poet and playwright Paul Claudel.
The Philharmonic performed the U.S. Premiere of Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake in 1948 at Carnegie Hall, conducted by Charles Munch. Subsequent performances took place in 1958, led by Leonard Bernstein; in 1967, led by Seiji Ozawa, as part of the Orchestra’s 125th Anniversary celebrations and the Lincoln Center Festival; and in 1994, conducted by then Music Director Kurt Masur.
As previously announced Marion Cotillard was the guest when Laurent Weil presented Trailers for upcoming movies on December 28, 2013. As it turned out the interview was conducted during the Marrakech Film Festival just after Marion Cotillard had presented ‘Public Enemies‘ on Jemaa El Fna square, an experience she’s always dreamed about ever since hearing other people talk about it when she came to the festival before.
Then she talked about ‘Terre des ours‘, she loves documentaries and was at first hesitant to accept being the voice because she usually prefers the visuals in documentaries to speak for themselves. But she really loves how ‘Terre des ours‘ shows a place of this world where nobody goes and these sublime animals that are adversely affected by humans. So if this movie moves just one person to learn more or to help preserve this world she’s happy. Laurent Weil joked that this would be the first movie her son could watch, Marion laughed but said that she sometimes thinks of how Johnny Depp’s career changed when he had kids and she sometimes would like to make a movie just for kids.
After a couple of trailers Marion Cotillard talked about her experience of shooting ‘Deux jours, une nuit‘ (Two Days, One Night) with the Dardenne brothers. The movie is similar to their previous films in tone and genre and it was one of Marion’s greatest experiences as an actress. Their movies have some of the strongest moments she has ever seen in films and so she wanted to ask them about everything. She would have done anything for them. But even though she loves working with great cineasts she wouldn’t say this is an important criteria since it’s just amazing to have the opportunity to go from one cinematic universe to another.
After some more trailers they talked about the upcoming ‘Macbeth‘, for which she was in full preparation even though having taken out time to be part of the jury at the Marrakech Film Festival. She repeated that she had always believed to be one day portraying Lady M after playing her at drama school, however she thought it would take place on stage and in French.
Later, Laurent Weil asked her about the lack of comedies on her CV. She said she loves comedies but doesn’t think she has achieved the level of authenticity necessary for comedies yet or that the little bit of comedy she’s done is any good. (Interestingly, they don’t mention her cameo appearance in ‘Anchorman 2‘ even though later on the trailer was shown. People have praised her cameo by the way.)
Watch the full video on Canal Plus or just the interview bits below:
220 TV Shows > Sorties prevues – 2013