|The nightingale and other fables
Igor Stravinsky 1882 1971
Director Robert Lepage has combined a number of short works by Stravinsky into a dramatic triptych, in which folk music and legends play an important role.
I. Short pieces
Compositions for clarinet; alto voice; women’s chorus:
- 3 Pieces for solo Clarinet
- Berceuses de chat
- 2 Poems of Konstantin Balmont
- 4 Russian songs
II. The fox
Disguised as a nun, the fox lures the cock from his perch on the roof of the chicken coop. He accuses him of polygamy. Even though he sees through the fox’s ruse, the cock cannot resist the taunting and leaps to the ground. The goat and the cat rescue the cock and chase away the fox.
The fox returns, this time without disguise, and again tempts the cock off the roof. This time he hauls him back to his foxhole.
Distracted by a serenade given by the goat and the cat, the fox lets his prey escape. The goat and the cat drag the fox outside and strangle him. The three friends – the goat, the cat and the cock – sing a pharisaical tribute to the fox.
III. The nightingale
A poor fisherman delights in the nocturnal song of the nightingale. A delegation from the Emperor enters, inviting the nightingale back to the palace. The only reward the bird desires is that whoever listens to him shed a few tears.
The nightingale sings for the Emperor, who indeed responds with tears. But three Japanese envoys present the Emperor with a mechanical nightingale that pleases him even more. The real nightingale silently flees the palace; the Emperor is angry and banishes him forever.
The Emperor is seriously ill. Lying on his deathbed, he is visited by the nightingale, who cures the monarch with his song. The courtiers, having expected to find the Emperor dead, are astonished when he cheerfully wishes them a good morning.
For this production we provide English surtitels