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At Stake: Marion Cotillard as Joan of Arc

Known for her portrayals of long-suffering women, like Edith Piaf in 2007’s La Vie en Rose, Marion Cotillard has lately come to inhabit the most famously tormented Frenchwoman in history. Over the past decade, she has starred in multiple productions of Arthur Honegger’s 1938 oratorio, Joan of Arc at the Stake, which dramatizes the last moments of the medieval martyr. Cotillard first performed the role in 2005 in Orléans, France, her hometown and the site of Joan’s greatest military victory, in 1429. Cotillard has since played it to much acclaim in Barcelona, Monaco, and Paris. She will reprise 
the part, reciting poet Paul Claudel’s mournful libretto, for the New York Philharmonic’s season closer.

“I knew when the production first offered me the role, an idea originally given to them by my mother [actress Niseema Theillaud], that it would follow me for years,” says Cotillard. “Joan of Arc has a mix of strength and hyper-sensitivity, which creates the richness that I have always looked for in a role.”

The piece is also a taste of what’s to come for Alan Gilbert, the Philharmonic’s departing musical director. Says Gilbert, “I’m very excited to get back into the world of theater and overt storytelling.” From June 10 to 13 at Avery Fisher Hall, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York; nyphil.org.

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