Saint-Saëns' gripping supernatural thriller, Le Timbre d'Argent, will have its Louisiana première in a new English translation as Hell's Bell with Opéra Louisiane's October production at the Old State Capitol. Best known for his biblical opera Samson et Dalila, Saint-Saëns dipped his toe into ghostly waters with a fantastical tale of greed and lust. The artist, Conrad, struggles with making a living while sharing an apartment with his friend and sometimes lover, Bénédict. It soon becomes apparent that Conrad is using Bénédict to keep a roof over his head, all the while squandering what little money he makes on a seductive and silent dancer, Fiammetta, who fuels his sexual and narcotic addictions. He asks Bénédict to sell his only remaining possession of worth: a silver bell bequeathed to him by his father as he lay dying. Bénédict reluctantly sells the bell to Conrad's dealer, Spiridon, who mysteriously returns it to Conrad, claiming the bell has the power to bring vast wealth to the one who rings it. The catch? Someone must die. It could be anyone, and in intoxicated desperation Conrad rings the bell. Not once, but twice, wreaking havoc on the lives of the only people who love him. Ghosts and poor choices abound in this eerie, hair-raising production... the perfect fright night to get you in the mood for Halloween!
Old State Capitol Building/ OCTOBER 5 / 2023