Music / Kaija Saariahos Text / Amin Maalouf
Direction / Aleksi Barrière Soloist / Sayuri Araida Vocal ensemble / Sandra Darcel, Marianne Seleskovitch, Johan Viau & Romain Dayez Music ensemble / BIT20 Ensemble Actress / Isabelle Seleskovitch Konsept and realization / Compagnie La Chambre aux échos Musical director / Clément Mao-Takacs
PHILOSOPHER AND TEACHER SIMONE WEIL (1909–1943) grew up in a middle-class Jewish family in Paris but nonetheless sympathized with the radical workers’ movement. She joined the Spanish civil war and was a member of the French resistance during World War II.
The main character in La Passion de Simone is a modern-day figure who reflects upon Simone’s ideals. What might we learn from someone who, in an attempt to understand and fight violence and oppression, tried uncompromisingly to put herself in the place of its victims?
In the course of the opera’s monologue, we hear Weil’s own voice, at a distance, mediated through an actor. A vocal quartet represents victims of and witnesses to human oppression. The ensemble members portray each tableau as an inner landscape.
The work does not describe the philosopher’s life as a series of chronological events; instead, it indicates a way of thinking. It is an agnostic prayer for human values and collective memory