PHILIPPE BOESMANS (b.1936): Yvonne, Pincesse de Bourgogne.
Catalogue Number: 01M072
Description: This four-act opera, based on Witold Gombrowicz' play in collaboration with the composer's librettist for 2006's Julie is a grotesque tragicomedy of bourgeois conventions. The play deals with the basest behaviors inspired by difference or abnormality to which human beings can so readily sink. Yvonne is a mute, uncommunicative and pathologically passive young woman, depicted in a speaking role as having an almost autistic degree of detachment from the desires and disgust of the people around her. The Crown Prince Philippe proposes to her as a joke, to silence the court's urging for a royal wedding. Once established at court, Yvonne's very passivity evokes the expression of the worst characteristics of those around her, all of whom devise their own plots to murder her. Boesman's operatic idiom is refined and expressive, with due acknowledgement of the conventions of grand opera of the 19th Century - Verdi, Wagner - employed with a combination of the darkest irony, as befits the subject matter of the piece, and genuinely eloquent expressive characterization, rendering the characters in three vivid dimensions, the better for us to be appalled by their actions. Boesmans' idiom is ideally suited to the operatic presentation of this kind of human drama, confirming his position as one of he most successful stage composers of our time. 2 CDs. French libretto. Mireille Delunsch (soprano), Yann Beuron (tenor), Victor van Halem (bass), Klangforum Wien; Sylvain Cambreling.