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Work of the Week – Christian Jost: Voyage vers l'espoir

The opera world is looking forward to the Grand Théâtre de Genève’s world premiere of Voyage vers l'espoir (Journey of Hope) by Christian Jost, and libretto by Kata Wéber, on 28 March 2023. With libretto by Kata Wéber and musical direction by Gabriel Feltz and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, audiences can expect a unique production by director, Kornél Mundruczó, with costume and stage design by Monika Pormale.

Jost's opera, Voyage vers l'espoir, is based on the film of the same name by director Xavier Koller. The piece narrates the story of a modern refugee family as they leave their home in order to escape from human catastrophe. In this tumultuous journey, a family from Anatolia, Turkey flees to Switzerland via Italy and not only loses their entire savings, but also their mutual trust, their love for one another, and tragically, their child.

Hope as drive: the opera Voyage vers l'espoir by Christian Jost

In this work and unlike his previous operas, the composer has musically juxtaposed the libretto with a formal three-act structure. Each act is personified by a sole instrumental focus. Act I is characterised by the concert violin, Act II is taken over by a series of percussion instruments, and Act III finishes off with two trumpets. This effect results in an overall hostile and suspenseful environment as explained by the composer:

The real action on stage is contrasted with an almost independent orchestral action. This results in an overall tension that gives the work its actual drama and its propulsive heartbeat. (Christian Jost)

Voyage vers l'espoir had already been scheduled to be performed by the Grand Théâtre de Genève in the spring of 2020, but unfortunately had to be cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions. Henceforth, we are excited that this brilliant work will finally be premiered with an additional four performances. 



Christian Jost: Composer Profile 

Voyage vers l’espoir: Work Details and Online Score 

Website Grand Théâtre de Genève 


Illustration: Rick / Adobe Stock