‘this bright sword, its name is not hatred, its name is love!’
Not only immortalised on the silver screen, Joan of Arc has also inspired many composers, such as Verdi and Honegger. In 1935, the latter created a truly original work in which the life of the Maid of Orleans is narrated backwards, from her death sentence to her childhood. This kaleidoscope of memories and emotions is interpreted by choruses, two impressive spoken roles, and an unusual orchestra, which includes saxophones, ondes martenot, and keyboards. Returning to the pit at La Monnaie after a ten-year absence, Kazushi Ono offers an intense reading of this rich and varied score. Romeo Castellucci’s staging delves into the different layers of sediment that have accumulated over Joan of Arc down the centuries. In doing so, he reveals the heart of the legend, its paradoxes, and the intimate relation that each of us has with it.