Benjamin Attahir, Le Silence des ombres

Benjamin Attahir, Le Silence des ombres

Photo : © La Monnaie / De Munt

Le Silence des ombres,
 Benjamin Attahir' first opera, world premiere on September 25, 2019 at Théâtre de la Monnaie.

Two years after the publication of a certain Pelléas et Mélisande, Maurice Maeterlinck revealed to the world his Trois Petits Drames pour marionnettes (Three Little Dramas for Marionettes) with a subject no less enigmatic than its title is deceptive. This is no drama in the traditional sense of the word, and there are certainly no marionettes – rather, as in the previous work, our experience with language and our difficulties, as beings capable of language, in communicating a fleeting reality. The influences of the Trois Petits Drames, who never ceased to inspire the theatres of the ellipse and of uncertainty in the 20th century, are now to be found on the operatic stage. In 2019, Benjamin Attahir, a composer of already several vocal opuses with a strong theatrical dimension, signed his first opera for the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, the ultimate site of sym­bolism. The duo for the occasion, with the playwright Olivier Lexa, repeatedly weaves, much like the musical style of the young composer, a counterpoint of figures of a concerned, but nonetheless singing, humanity.