On 26th April (additional performances on 28th, 30th and 3rd, 5th, 7th May) the Teatro alla Scala will present the world premiere of Luca Francesconi’s Quartett, an opera that the theatre itself has commissioned. Based on the play of the same name by Heiner Müller (1929-1995) and freely inspired by Pierre-Ambroise-François Choderlos de Laclos’s (1741-1803) Les liaisons dangereuses, Francesconi’s Quartett underlines the numerous aspects of the play still of vital interest today: in particular, the sense of identity that is lost “in an infinite multiplication of mirrors where nothing has any value” can be seen as a “metaphor of the whole of Western civilisation”. The libretto, written by the composer himself, is in English. The text distributes the story over 12 scenes, enclosed between a prelude and an exodus. On stage the two characters, the Marquise of Merteuil (soprano) and the Viscount of Valmont (baritone), are accompanied by two orchestras, a large one that is invisible and a small one in the pit, a choir and electronics.
The Orchestra and Choir of the Teatro alla Scala will be conducted by Susanna Mälkki. The stage direction has been entrusted to Alex Ollé, the artistic director of Fura dels Baus. The video production is by Franc Aleu, the scenery by Alfons Flores and the costumes by Lluc Castells. The electronics (produced at IRCAM) have been realised by Serge Lemouton and Sébastien Naves.