French Fairytale Pelleas & Melisande Gets a Fresh Translation

French Fairytale Pelleas & Melisande Gets a Fresh Translation


When the doomed love of Pelleas and Melisande first premiered in 1893, it subverted the French realism that was all the rage in the Parisian Belle Epoque. Innovative French symbolist Maurice Materlinck - one of the most respected writers of his time - penned a lush, avante garde fairytale that blends elements of Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet. 

Now in a new translation by Cutting Ball’s artistic director Rob Melrose, Pelleas and Melisande stabs through Melisande's freshly wedded domestic bliss when she falls for her husband’s brother. (Tip: Don't do that.) A story that prompted musicians like Claude Debussy and Gabriel Faure to greater heights of orchestral genius, Melrose’s version skips the Debussy for a score by composer Cliff Caruthers and video installation by Wesley Cabral. From royal wedding to betrayal, it’s an evocative fantasy where happily-ever-afters are in severe jeopardy. 

October 27-November 27. Exit on Taylor, 277 Taylor Street. Tickets are $10-50 at 800-838-3006 or

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