This opera in 3 acts has its origin in the melodrama for reciter and piano composed beforehand on the letters of Vincent to his brother Theo. So, paradoxically, the inspiration for this opera does not come from painting or music, but from the verb, the words written by Van Gogh. Thus, the entire dramaturgy of the theatrical discourse is already entirely contained in the painter’s short life.
More abstract passages focus on a theme common to all creators: the creative process. Scene 6 of Act I, for example, deals with the great humility with which Van Gogh sees his work: “I therefore live as an ignorant person who knows one thing for sure: I have to complete a certain task.”
The characters: Vincent (baritone), Theo (tenor), Gauguin (bass), Siena (mezzo-soprano), Mrs. Ginoux (soprano), Dr. Gachet (tenor), Johanna Van Gogh (mezzo-soprano), the Minors’ Choir (T.B.), the Arlesian choir (S.A.), the Fools choir (T.B.) and the Peasants choir (S.A.T.B.)
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