Archive NEXT 2022

Les Enfants terribles

Phia Ménard (France) & Emmanuel Olivier (France)

Minimum age 12+
95 minutes

Coming of age...for the second youth

“Les Enfants terribles” is first of all a novel by Jean Cocteau published in 1929. In 1996 this ode to longing and imagination inspired Philip Glass for a danced chamber opera which perfectly translated the atmosphere of this passionate huis clos.

In many ways Phia Ménard herself is also an “enfant terrible” of the contemporary performing arts. This complete artist, at the same time dancer, juggler, choreographer and performer in her turn took the masterwork in hand. In this love story we meet again with Paul and his sister Elisabeth, the 'bad boy' Dargelos and his female double Agathe. Except that here, the protagonists are no longer adolescents but elderly people and the action is relocated to an assisted living centre. The pianists are the musicians of a home and the narrator is a social worker.

Between song, music, choreography and play, this lyric piece in 20 scenes shows women and men that have withdrawn, subject to the unrelenting decay but none the less longing, joyful and full of wonder. Or how old age can also be eternal youth...

Free buss:
  • 27/11 (Tourcoing): Departure at 14:30 from Kortrijk (BK6)


Tourcoing : co-produced with the Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing

Dunkerque : co-produced with Le Bateau Feu


See also Les Enfants terribles at the Espace Jean Legendre in Compiègne on 7 December 2022.

Opera in one act
First performed in 1996 at the Casino Theatre in Zug, Switzerland.
Libretto: Philip Glass and Susan Marshall.
After: Jean Cocteau.
Stage direction and set design: Phia Ménard.
Musical direction: Emmanuel Olivier.
With Olivier Naveau (Paul), Mélanie Boisvert (Elisabeth), Ingrid Perruche or Anne-Marguerite Werster (Dargelos / Agathe), François Piolino (Gérard), Jonathan Drillet (Narrator), Nicolas Royez, Flore Merlin, Emmanuel Olivier (Piano).
Assistant director and set designer: Clarisse Delile.
Lighting design and scenography: Éric Soyer.
Costume design: Marie La Rocca.
Dramaturgy: Jonathan Drillet.
Stage Manager: Marie Bonnier.
Sound Manager: Jonathan Lefèvre-Reich.
Stage Manager: Nicolas Marchand.
Production of the: co[opera]tive
Les 2 Scènes / Scène nationale de Besançon, Théâtre Impérial - Opéra de Compiègne, Le Bateau Feu / Scène nationale de Dunkerque, Théâtre de Cornouaille / Scène nationale de Quimper, Opéra de Rennes, Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing.
Coproduction: La Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand scène nationale, MC2 / Scène nationale de Grenoble, MC93 / Scène nationale de Bobigny, Théâtre national de Bruxelles, Le Carreau / Scène nationale de Forbach.