|Thérèse Raquin, an opera in English by Tobias Picker based on the 1867 French novel by Émile Zola, received its premiere performance on November 30, 2001, in Dallas, Texas.
The opera was performed in French in Montreal in the spring of 2002, on April 24, 27, 29, and May 2.
In March 2003, the opera will be performed by the San Diego Opera. "Making her San Diego Opera debut in the title role will be American mezzo-soprano, Kirstin Chávez. Thérèse's lover, Laurent, will be sung by British baritone Christopher Maltman. Also making his San Diego Opera debut is American tenor Gordon Gietz in the role of Camille, Thérèse's sickly husband. The legendary British soprano Dame Josephine Barstow adds the role of the overbearing Madame Raquin to her extensive operatic repertoire," reports the San Diego Opera site.
In the Dallas Opera performances, British mezzo-soprano Sara Fulgoni sang the title role. Richard Bernstein played her lover Laurent.
Susan Parrott, in an article for Associated Press, summarized the story: “Therese . . . is coerced by her aunt to marry her sickly cousin Camille. She soon starts a passionate affair with his friend Laurent . . ., and the two plot to drown Camille in the Seine River. But Camille . . . returns as a ghost. Therese and Laurent’s love is ruined by regret and they kill themselves.”
Jonathan Pell, director of artistic administration for the Dallas Opera, said, “Musically, it’ terribly sophisticated. There’s a lusciousness of sound and color that is remarkable and unmistakable.”
|A film in English based on the novel, produced by the BBC with Kate Nelligan in the title role, is sometimes available on VHS from amazon.com|
|It was shown in the United States on Masterpiece Theatre.|
|Zola's novel, Thérèse Raquin, is available in French from amazon.ca and from amazon.fr.
Le roman Thérèse Raquin en français peut être ordonné de l'amazon.ca et aussi de l' amazon.fr.
|"L'ADAPTATION de Tobias Picker dissout pourtant la force évocatrice du roman de Zola dans une musique fade, aux effets faciles, malgré une interprétation de qualité." Ainsi écrit Renaud Machart dans un article paru dans l'édition du Monde du 6 décembre 2001.|
|A Chandos recording of Thérèse Raquin, released in the United States on June 25, 2002, can be ordered from amazon.com.
In Great Britain, the recording was released on May 20, 2002, and can be ordered from amazon.co.uk.
|An English translation of Zola's novel, Thérèse Raquin, is available from amazon.ca.|
|" Ho hum. Another contemporary opera in the old-fashioned European mode based on an established literary property . . .. If somebody could do this sort of thing without sounding so prosaic ('Thank you. I'll bring up the coal now'), I'd say OK. But not even Tobias Picker can. All that sex and a naked baritone is still dull as ditchwater [sic], when it isn't hysterical and scaring the cat," wrote T. Hashimoto for examiner.com about the recording.|
|Chris Shull of the Wichita Eagle picked Thérèse Raquin as one of the top ten classical CD's of 2002. "Picker's music (to a libretto by Gene Scheer, after the novel by Emile Zola) succinctly traces the drama while providing powerful, lyrical and arrestingly beautiful psychological insights into the characters. A top-notch cast of young singers was captured during world premiere performances at The Dallas Opera in December 2001; conductor Graeme Jenkins illuminates Picker's hard but elegant score. Each hearing of 'Therese Raquin' reveals musical nuance and dramatic flair. The piece showcases Picker as an exciting compositional voice, a true original."|