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King Arthur (Le roi Arthus)

Ernest Chausson

“The Bard production, directed by Louisa Proske, is scenically spare but richly costumed and dramatically effective. And Botstein, leading the American Symphony Orchestra, an impressive cast and the excellent Bard Festival Chorale, made a compelling case for the piece.”—New York Times

Idealism, treachery, honor, and perfidy collide in this richly lyrical opera by French composer Ernest Chausson. This opulently scored work, which premiered in 1903, lays bare the tragedy of King Arthur’s betrayal at the hands of his queen Genièvre and his trusted knight Lancelot.

Considered one of the finest examples of French romanticism, King Arthur (Le roi Arthus) was composer Chausson’s only opera—his own composing career was tragically cut short by his early death at age 44.

Performed by a stellar cast, helmed by baritone Norman Garrett, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, and tenor Matthew White, this production of King Arthur takes us to a world in the midst of upheaval where long-standing codes of honor and loyalty no longer hold sway.


By Ernest Chausson

Stage Director Louisa Proske

American Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Leon Botstein, Music Director

Bard Festival Chorale
Chorus Master James Bagwell

Set Design Matt Saunders
Costume Design Kaye Voyce
Lighting Design Scott Zielinski
Movement Direction Zoe Scofield
Fight Choreography Thomas Schall
Wig, Hair, and Makeup Design Anne Ford-Coates and Anika Seitu
Supertitle Creation Danielle Sinclair

Read the Full Program







All photos were taken by Maria Baranova in July 2021.


The below image was used as key art for the production. It features Norman Garrett as King Arthur, and was taken by Maria Baranova in March 2020.