In Paris at a Bohemian gathering hosted by the sculptor Caoudal, Jean Gaussin, young and recently arrived from Provence, is feeling homesick and out of place. He is struck by the arrival of Fanny Legrand, referred to by the artists as 'Sapho' after a famous sculpture fashioned by Caoudal in her likeness. Fanny talks the impressionable Jean into leaving the party with her. Jean's parents visit him in Paris when they come to collect his cousin Irene. When they leave Fanny returns and they declare their passionate love. a year later and the two lovers have been living quietly outside Paris. Eating at a nearby restaurant Jean is spotted by Caoudal who asks if he is still with Sapho. Jean is puzzled and then shocked as he realises that Fanny and Sapho are the same woman. He flees the restaurant and Fanny turns on the artists accusing them of ruining her only chance of happiness. Packing to leave Jean finds a box that contains the souvenirs of Fanny's past. She begs him to stay while he reads her letters appalled at what they reveal. Fanny attempts to defend herself but they exchange bitter insults and Jean leaves. Back in Provence his father announces that 'Sapho' is there to see him. Fanny tells Jean that she has been miserable since they separated and she wants him to return. His parents order him inside and Fanny returns to Paris discouraged and desperately unhappy. Jean follows her to Paris unable to live without her. They fall into each other's arms and exhausted he falls asleep. Fanny, knowing that he will never truly be able to put aside her past, tiptoes away, leaving him forever. Sung in FrenchPerformers Giuseppina Piunti (Fanny Legrand), Brandon Jovanovich (Jean Gaussin), Agata Bienkowska (Divonne), Nicola Alaimo (Cesaire), Ermonela Jaho (Irene), Luca Salsi (Caoudal).
Music Jules Massenet. Producer Wexford Festival Opera. Company Wexford Festival Opera Chorus. Company National Philharmonic Orchestra of Belarus. Conductor Jean-Luc Tingaud. Director Fabio Sparvoli. Design Giorgio Ricchelli. Costume Alessandra Torella. Lighting Giuseppe Di Iorio.