The Ghosts of Versailles
Composed by John Corigliano and Libretto by William M. Hoffman
The Ghosts of Versailles centers around the spirit of Marie Antoinette being haunted by her past and the reflections of her sorrows, regrets and the tragic last years of her life. During a discussion with Corigliano he described the image of a wavering, thin, silver strand of smoke as representing the melodic movement and character of Antoinette. Antoinette sings throughout the opera, “There was a golden bird, in a garden of silver trees…” lamenting of her past. This line and these themes inspired the use of two-way shards of silver mirrors in a disjointed but still regal Petit Trianon theater to project these reflections and veil the space in mystery. However through love and acceptance of one’s fate salvation can be attained and the golden rays break through the smoke and dark.