Pelléas et Mélisande was Claude Debussy’s only completed opera and the fantastical, imaginary world in which it is set, shimmers with Impressionist colour brought alive by his orchestral sound-world. The opera was first produced at Glyndebourne in 1962 as a tribute to Debussy’s centenary. The highly acclaimed cast is led by Denise Duval, the pre-eminent French soprano of the day and artistic muse of Poulenc. The renowned conductor, Vittorio Gui, had known Debussy well - indeed Debussy’s stepdaughter attended the first night - and his performances attracted glowing reviews. This recording is taken from the 1963 revival of the production and was to be the last time Artistic Director, Carl Ebert directed at Glyndebourne. Ebert worked at Glyndebourne for 30 years and of the vast body of his work, this production of Pelléas et Mélisande was considered, by many, to be his best ever.
“...a truly memorable revelation of Debussy’s masterpiece.” The Daily Telegraph
“At Glyndebourne, Vittorio Gui’s vivid dramatic approach makes it one of those waking dreams which is more real than waking itself - helped by the powerful projection of the main characters by an outstanding cast, particularly Hans Wilbrink as Pelléas and Denise Duval as Mélisande.” Radio Times