Spiritual conviction meets earthly desire
Be swept back to Ancient Egypt in Jules Massenet's soaring exploration of lust and salvation with this beautiful production from Minnesota Opera, starring home grown soprano Kelly Kaduce in the notoriously challenging role of Thais, a spirited courtesan and devotee of Venus convinced to renounce her former wickedness by a misguided monk.
Considered controversial on its premiere, Thais presents a portrait of passion and piety as depicted by Athanael, a monk who believes God has sent him to convert the famous paramour. Finding Thais receptive to his mission, the two set off across the desert, but before the journey to salvation is over, Athanael realises his motives are rather more earthly than he first understood. Bubbling with sensuality and intensity, Massenet presents a tale of contradictions between love and religion, where purity comes not from devotion but the self.