|Robin Adams and Allison Cook in Quartett
The libretto revolves around two ex-lovers who get caught up in a game of seduction that can only end in death. The Marquise de Merteuil challenges the Viscomte de Valmont to seduce her niece Cécile, who is a virgin, but he opts instead to lead Madame de Tourvel, a faithful wife, astray.
Francesconi’s score calls for a massive sound design, and demands two distinct orchestras – one of which is pre-recorded and electronically treated, the sound sent flying over the heads of the audiences.
The composer once said of this piece, "Don’t dare to come if you can't accept that you need to analyse what you do and who you are. This piece is violent, it’s sex, it’s blasphemy, it’s the absence of mercy. The only two characters in the opera are the definition of cynical, they have made a pact that they don’t have to love any more. Love and sentiment are banned, the only thing that’s left and that matters is a kind of chess game with people's souls and bodies. So don’t come if you have problems in your relationship, you might discover something you might not want to! But do dare to come if you can face the reality of how dried up your heart is, how little space there is in your feelings for anything that doesn’t come from being self-defensive, from being totally scared by the world. We are prisoners of our fears. That’s the real last message of this piece, that we can no longer hide our problems – and that we shouldn’t."
The opera runs through March 3rd and tickets are available online.