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Music: Primary Sources: Debussy, Claude 1862-1918

Debussy: Pélleas et Mélisande


Debussy, Claude. 1905. Pélleas et Mélisande Drame lyrique en 5 actes et 12 tableaux de Maurice Maeterlinck... Partition pour Chant et Piano. Paris: A. Durand & Fils.  

Call no. : Music 782.1 D28 p3 D9 


First Edition.

First performed on April 30, 1902 at the Opéra-Comique in Paris under the baton of André Messager (1853-1929), one of the dedicatees. The other, Georges Hartmann (1843-1900), was an executive of the publisher Fromont. 

"Debussy finished a first version of the opera in 1895... Several attempts were made to get Pelléas et Mélisande staged... but these foundered. At last, on 3 May 1901, the director of the Opéra-Comique, Albert Carré, gave [Debussy] a written undertaking to put on Pelléas. Preparations were held up by Maeterlinck, who wanted his mistress Georgette Leblanc to take the role of Mélisande. In spite of public demonstrations at the dress rehearsal and first performance... and a chilly reception from several of the critics, the work caught on and made a powerful impression on the musical world at large." François Lesure in Grove Music Online. 



Modern versions available in the Music Library


Pelleas et Melisande : drame lyrique en 5 actes et 12 tableaux de Maurice Maeterlinck 

Paris : Durand. 1904.

Call no.: Music 782.1 D28 p3 D score 




 Further reading Pelleas et Melisande

Pelleas et Melisande : drame lyrique en 5 actes et 12 tableau de Maurice Materlinck 

Paris : Durand. 1907.

Call no.: Music 782.1 D28 p3 score

Pelléas et Mélisande.

Paris : Durand. c2010.

Call no.: MuR 780.81 D28 v.VI/2 ter score