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Pelléas and Mélisande

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The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor

production directed by Yuval Sharon
set design by Mimi Lien
lighting and projection design by Jason H. Thompson
costume design by Ann Closs-Farley
choreography by Danielle Agami
   and featuring
Elliot Madore, baritone (Pelléas)
Martina Janková, soprano (Mélisande)
Nancy Maultsby, mezzo-soprano (Genevieve)
Hanno Müller-Brachmann, bass-baritone (Golaud)
Peter Rose, bass (Arkel)
Julie Mathevet, soprano (Yniold)
David Castillo, baritone (Doctor/Shepherd)
   and with
Cleveland Orchestra Chamber Chorus


At a Glance
DEBUSSY - Pelléas and Mélisande

Luminous and hypnotic —  Pelléas and Mélisande is among the most magical and mesmerizing of all opera scores. Composed when Impressionism was a new and radical force, it was Claude Debussy’s only completed opera.  This tale of two fallen lovers, derived from Maurice Maeterlinck’s surreal play, resonates with mystery and meaning.  Debussy’s beautiful depiction transforms the unending musical longing that Richard Wagner had pioneered withTristan and Isolde into a tragedy of unique power.  It is presented at Severance Hall in a made-for-Cleveland production directed by Yuval Sharon (The Cunning Little Vixen) filled with dream-like realism.

In the depths of a forest, Prince Golaud meets the young, beautiful Mélisande weeping besides a fountain. Although he knows nothing about her, he marries her and together they return to the dark ancestral castle where his grandfather the King Arkel reigns. There, Mélisande meets Pelléas, the mysterious half-brother of her husband. The love story that ensues spells tragedy — Golaud, consumed by jealousy, kills his brother, while Mélisande dies after giving birth to a daughter. Tortured by doubt, Golaud finds neither the truth nor forgiveness in the last breaths of his young wife

A medieval motif, a love triangle, jealousy, and death — all are ingredients shared with Wagner's music dramaTristan and Isolde.  Debussy’s music for Pelléas and Mélisande was inspired from Wagner’s groundbreaking influence, but shifts and transforms this tragic story into an extraordinary and enigmatic work of modern art.

Opera sung in French with projected English supertitles.

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About the Music


Information and background about the music are printed in program books distributed free-of-charge at most Cleveland Orchestra concerts. The program notes are usually available on-line ahead of time (see links below).

 On-Line FlipBook
Click or tap here to read this week's program book as an online flipbook, best viewed on a desktop or tablet computer.
(2016-17:  Week 19:  May 2, 4, 6)

Mobile-Friendly ExpressBook
Or click or tap here to read about the concert on your phone with our mobile-friendly ExpressBook, available the week of the concert.


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Severance Restaurant

Severance Restaurant at Severance Hall is operated by Marigold Catering and features contemporary American cuisine in an elegant setting.  The restaurant is perfect for a quick bite or leisurely dinner before the concert, or post-concert offerings on select evenings.

The restaurant is located on the street level of Severance Hall along East Boulevard. 

Pre-Concert Dining
       Pre-concert dinner service begins up to three hours before each Cleveland Orchestra evening concert.  Pre-concert luncheon service is offered before Cleveland Orchestra matinee concerts on Sunday afternoons.  For Friday Morning concerts, post-concert Post-Concert Offerings
      The Severance Restaurant is open for post-concert dining and desserts, with our full-service bar.  On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.

Reservations are advised, especially for pre-concert dinner service.

For Severance Restaurant reservations, 
please call 216-231-7373 anytime,
or reserve online:

Click here to reserve your table

Click here to view the spring menu


Before concerts and at intermissions, Severance Hall offers wine, beer, cocktails, other beverages, desserts and light refreshments at lobby bars in the Smith Lobby on the street level, in the Bogomolny-Kozerefski Grand Foyer, and in the Kulas Dress Circle Lobby.

Pre-Order Intermission Drinks
     Intermission drinks can be ordered prior to the start of the performance at any bar location at Severance Hall.  Pre-order and pay, and your drink will be waiting for you at intermission.

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A variety of parking options are available for concerts at Severance Hall, including guaranteed pre-paid parking passes (purchased through the Ticket Office or via this website) for many but not all events.

The Case Western Reserve University Campus Center Garage is located directly adjacent to Severance Hall (parking entrance is off East Boulevard), with stair and elevator access to Severance Hall.  Event parking in the Campus Center Garage can be purchased for $11 per vehicle when space permits. However, the garage often fills up well before concert time and only patrons who purchase pre-paid parking passes are ensured a parking space. 

close croppedPre-Paid Parking for the Campus Center Garage can be purchased for many concerts in advance for $15 per concert by calling the Ticket Office or through this website.  Pre-paid parking guarantees you a space, but availability of pre-paid parking passes is limited.  

If you are purchasing online via this website, you will have the opportunity after selecting your concert tickets to add pre-paid parking (if pre-paid parking is available for your performance) to your order.  Please note that each pre-paid parking pass is for a specific date and concert).

If you have already purchased concert tickets, you can still purchase pre-paid parking online by locating the car icon at the top righthand side of this page.  The text with the icon will show you whether pre-paid parking is availble.  Click on the link.

Parking can also be purchased through the Ticket Office by calling 216-231-1111.

Limited additional event parking is available in the Case Western Reserve University Lot 1 off Euclid Avenue across from Severance Hall, or at the University Circle Lot 13A on Adelbert Road, and at the Cleveland Botanical Garden parking garage on East Boulevard.  Space at these lots may be particularly limited during weekday daytime hours.  Some on-street parking is also available, but often fills up well before curtain time.

For a printable map of parking areas surrounding Severance Hall, click here.

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