The seductive tale of lust versus faith
Jules Massenet's tale of sensuality and spirituality bears a remarkable resemblance to Marius Petipa's ballet La Bayadere in that it also centers around a seductive priestess and a holy man. Created in 1894 for the Paris Opera, it is one of the most seductive and introspective operas ever to grace the stage. The titular Thais will be sung by Ailyn Perez in the role of an Egyptian courtesan and priestess of Venus whom the Christian monk Athanael tries to convert to the new faith. But as she finds her salvation in Christ, he becomes obsessed with her sexually and falls to lust.
Canadian baritone Gerald Finley stars as the lustful monk Athanael, and is joined by Jean-Francois Borras and David Pittsinger. The opera will be conducted by guest maestro Emmanuel Villaume, who has also presided over the 2016/17 season's production of Romeo et Juliette.