Obituary: Patrice Chéreau, stage and screen director, 68

Posted on: October 9, 2013

“Patrice Chéreau, a director whose iconoclastic theater, opera and film productions sometimes offered broad social critiques that made them both provocative and influential, died on Monday in Paris” of lung cancer, writes Allan Kozinn in Monday’s (10/7) New York Times. “Mr. Chéreau, who also acted and wrote for the screen, came to international prominence in 1976, when he staged a production of Wagner’s operatic tetralogy, ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen,’ at Bayreuth…. In his production, which was conducted by Pierre Boulez, Mr. Chéreau updated the action to the mid-19th century.” The production “helped open the floodgates of directorial reinterpretation of opera…. Mr. Chéreau was born on Nov. 2, 1944, in Lézigné, Maine-et-Loire, in western France, to parents who were both painters. He developed a passion for the theater as a child, and became manager of his high school theater when he was 15…. Mr. Chéreau’s many films include ‘Flesh of the Orchid’ (1975), with Charlotte Rampling; ‘Queen Margot,’ starring Isabelle Adjani [1994] … and ‘Persécution’ (2009)…. Information about his survivors was not immediately available…. Mr. Chéreau’s most recent production, a staging of Richard Strauss’s ‘Elektra,’ which had its premiere this summer in Aix-en-Provence, is on the Metropolitan Opera’s schedule for 2016.”

Posted October 9, 2013