Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Opera in Cinema Series--Thais for 2 Showings only!
From the Teatro Regio di Torino (Italy)
Tuesday, January 5 at 7:00pm and Sunday, January 10 at Noon. Tickets $20/$18 Members, students, seniors
See the trailer here.
Thais is an opera in three acts by Jules Massenet, to a French libretto by Louis Gallet, based on the novel of the same name by Anatole France. It was first performed at the Opéra in Paris on March 16, 1894, with the glamorous American soprano Sybil Sanderson, for whom Massenet had written it, in the title role.
The monk Athanaël attempts to convert the beautiful courtesan Thaïs to Christianity, despite the many warnings of his friends. After Athanaël rejects her advances, Thais eventually agrees to renounce her worldly possessions and join a convent. It is only upon their arrival at the convent that Athanaël realizes he will never see the beautiful Thaïs again. After their separation, he is consumed by desire for her, and has a vision of her immenent death. He returns to convent to see her, and finds her on her deathbed. He confesses his love and extols the power of earthly desire, but Thaïs has been changed forever—she sees him only as the man who brought her to salvation. Thaïs receives heavenly visions and dies Athanaël’s arms, while Athanaël is left in despair and anguish.