National Theatre, Budapest, Hungary
Director: Attila Vidnyánszky
1 hours 30 minutes, without breaks.
Condemned to die at the stake, Joan of Arc says, “Saint Michael himself placed this sword in my hand. Its name is not Hate, but Love.” In Attila Vidnyánszky’s direction, the stake is built out of books, meant to represent the destruction of European culture before our very eyes. Paul Claudel and Arthur Honegger’s oratorio addresses questions of sacrifice and betrayal, the concept of a saint, and how Joan loves God and her homeland above all. The monumental production is the product of the cooperation of actors, opera singers, chorus members and a symphonic orchestra. It thus blurs the boundaries between genres. The oratorio is no longer simply libretto and music – but THEATRE. Joan of Arc at the Stake sweeps us along with a free-soaring sequence of beats and emotions and a chain of wild visions.