Thais 2020/21 1280x680 © Hermine Karigl-Wagenhofer

Comédie lyrique in three acts and seven parts (1898)

Music by Jules Massenet

Libretto by Louis Gallet based on the novel by Anatole France

In French with German surtitles

New production of Theater an der Wien

Premiere: Dienstag, 19 January 2021, 7 pm

Performances: 21 / 23 / 26 / 28 / 30 January 2021, 7 pm

Introduction matinée: Sunday, 17.January 2021, 11 am

Synopsis

Athanaël lives in the desert in a monastic brotherhood with other ascetics. They have forsaken all worldly goods and desires. But this is not enough for Athanaël: he is ambitious and wants to convert others to his way of life. His aim is to lead the most famous courtesan in all Egypt, Thaïs, to God. He travels to Alexandria, where he grew up. There he encounters his childhood friend Nicias with whom he once shared adventures centred very much on earthly pleasures. But at some point Athanaël heard God’s call and renounced this life of wild abandon. Nicias, on the other hand, did not and became very successful. He has amassed a huge fortune and can afford to keep the most costly mistress – and this is currently Thaïs. Athanaël, although disgusted by all the decadence his former friend wallows in, nevertheless accepts an invitation to a banquet so that he can approach Thaïs. And he does indeed succeed in drawing her into a conversation and is able to speak to her about his mission. Thaïs, though, merely laughs at him. But later, when she is alone, it becomes clear that she no longer finds fulfilment in her life and fears growing old. Athanaël refuses to give up and continues to try to win her over. When he again talks to her of God’s love and of contempt for all matters of the flesh she becomes thoughtful. In the end she sees a chance of a new life in Athanaël’s ideas and agrees to let him take her to a convent. Her hedonistic admirers at first prevent her from leaving, but Nicias, with heavy heart, distracts the crowd with money and so allows them to escape. To reach the convent they must cross the desert. Thaïs’ strength fails her and she collapses. Suddenly Athanaël realises that he loves Thaïs – with both soul and body. He now sees his fanatical rejection of sensuality and love as a mistake. He confesses his feelings to Thaïs and begs her to love him in return. But it is too late, Thaïs is dying. She firmly believes in Athanaël’s promises of salvation through God and has a vision of herself in heaven while Athanaël is still asking her to love him. She dies without hearing or understanding his words.

Cast

Conductor

Leo Hussain

Biography
Director

Peter Konwitschny

Biography
Set & costume design

Johannes Leiacker

Biography
Light design

Guido Petzold

Biography
Thaïs

Nicole Chevalier

Biography
Athanael

Josef Wagner

Biography
Nicias

Roberto Saccà

Biography
Crobyle

Carolina Lippo

Biography
Myrtale / Albine

Sofia Vinnik

Biography
Palémon

Günes Gürle

Biography
Orchestra

ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien

Biography
Choir

Arnold Schoenberg Chor (Ltg. Erwin Ortner)

Biography

Tickets Buy tickets now

Premiere

Thaïs

Theater an der Wien,Wien

Advance online booking starts on 02.09.2020 - 10:00 am

Date/Time Venue/Location Price Ticketlink
Sun, 17.01.202111:00 am Einführungsmatinee Thaïs
Theater an der Wien, Linke Wienzeile 6Wien1060
Tue, 19.01.20217:00 pmPremiere Thaïs
Theater an der Wien, Linke Wienzeile 6Wien1060
Thu, 21.01.20217:00 pm Thaïs
Theater an der Wien, Linke Wienzeile 6Wien1060
Sat, 23.01.20217:00 pm Thaïs
Theater an der Wien, Linke Wienzeile 6Wien1060
Tue, 26.01.20217:00 pm Thaïs
Theater an der Wien, Linke Wienzeile 6Wien1060
Thu, 28.01.20217:00 pm Thaïs
Theater an der Wien, Linke Wienzeile 6Wien1060
Sat, 30.01.20217:00 pm Thaïs
Theater an der Wien, Linke Wienzeile 6Wien1060