Siobhan Stagg spoke to Limelight during pre-production on Pelléas et Mélisande

My first real encounter with Debussy’s opera Pelléas et Mélisande was at the Hamburg State Opera a couple of years ago, with Simone Young conducting. I remember being totally captivated by Christiane Karg as Mélisande. The production was classic, beautiful and told the story, and I was just blown away.

I preface that by saying there must have been an encounter beforehand. I was sorting through boxes of CDs at my parents’ house and was amazed to find I’ve got the Karajan recording with the Berlin Philharmoniker and Frederica von Stade as Mélisande. I don’t remember buying it, but I must have seen it in a shop as a student and thought, “that’s something I should listen to at some point”, and then just put it away. It’s been a blessing to have found it.

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