Stage director

Clarac-Deloeuil > le lab


"La Sonnambula" on OperaVision

La sonnambula by Vincenzo Bellini staged by Clarac, Deloeuil > the lab, featuring Lisette Oropesa and John Osborn in the two main roles, recorded live at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma on 9thApril 2024, is available to stream from on Operavision from May 10 to November 10, 2024. Link to the stream

 What the press is saying (extracts):

„ Le Lab's guidelines are fundamentally right namely to eliminate the cloying idyll of the village nestled in the mountains and instead accentuate the brilliant ‘dramma giocoso’ aspects on the one hand and the delicate, melancholic ones typically Bellini's on the other.” (Mauro Mariani, Il giornale della musica, 10.04.2024)

“This choice of staging offers a new dimension to the opera, focusing on a more intimate and psychological interpretation that attempts to create a fascinating visual dialogue.” (Davide Oliviero, GBOpera, 11.04.2024)

“Personally, I was impressed by the intelligence and coherence of this show. From start to finish, it plays on the dimension of dreams and fantasies, adding interest and depth to an extremely thin plot that often feels like it's dragging along. Beyond the superimposition of levels of interpretation and the accumulation of references - I confess to having been moved by echoes of the 1988 production, which I was lucky enough to attend - the story remains that of La sonnambula, but with something nervous and stimulating in its approach, which makes a change from so many languid stagings, saved by high-flying prime donne.” (Richard Martet, Opéra Magazine, May 2024)

“In conclusion, a coherent and well realised stage project, which on the whole works and makes a contribution to the vitality of opera.” (Francesco Arturo Saponaro, musicpaper, 11.04.2024)


"La Sonnambula" in Rome

Following the great success of Rusalka in Avignon, Bordeaux and Nice (see our previous News), the Clarac, Deloeuil > le lab team is taking up the challenge of a new production of La Sonnambula to celebrate its debut at the Teatro dell'Opera in Rome. This production will also mark the debut of Lisette Oropesa in the title role (with John Osborn as Elvino). Conductor: Francesco Lanzillotta.

Opening night on 9 April 2024.

All dates of performance

Next stop: Nice!

After being presented at the Opéra de Grand Avignon and the Opéra national de Bordeaux, the production of Rusalka staged by Clarac, Deloeuil > le lab makes a stopover at the Opéra de Nice!

Here are just a few of the many excellent reviews that have appeared in the press:

“Never losing sight of and therefore accepting, even assuming, the letter of the libretto – rather than by passing or diverting it – requires a certain effort, which the French directing duo Jean-Philippe Clarac and Olivier Deloeuil never shy away from. This, while maintaining the necessary distance to make it resonate with a contemporary narrative and contemporary themes. Without, however, falling into the trap of an endlessly reproducible reading grid, but, on the contrary, always finding an original angle (...). Here then, for this new Rusalka, the water nymph is immersed in the merciless world of synchronized swimming (...). Everything about the action, its driving forces and motivations, right through to the denouement, is absolutely right.” (Opéra Magazine, link)

“True to themselves, the duo did not confine themselves to updating the work: they have superimposed onto realism the dreamlike world of Dvorak's "lyrical tale". While the videos, perfectly integrated into the set design, show modern-day swimmers, with an aquatic ballet reminiscent of Esther Williams movies in Act II, they also feature images of the seabed and lakeside landscapes, establishing the symbolic omnipresence of primordial water throughout. The universality of the message is thus preserved, even reinforced, in this perpetual oscillation between dream and realiity, tale and news story, pond in the Médoc and swimming pool in Avignon (...). Here as elsewhere, in their Mozart-Da Ponte Trilogy in Brussels for instance, the two directors do not sacrifice the theatre to the singularity of the concept or the skill of the production. They create beings of flesh and blood, restoring their complexity, from a Rusalka trapped in her mermaid suit, both rebellious and submissive, to a Foreign Princess of vampiric seduction.” (Diapason, link)

“After Butterfly in the streets of Limoges, Aschenbach in those of Strasbourg and Serse in a skatepark in Rouen, it is in a swimming pool in Avignon that the two accomplices decided to immerse Dvořák's siren. This provides the opportunity for a virtuoso plunge into that pivotal moment when a girl must, wants to and will become a woman. This is made clear at the start of Act II by the voice-over of the heroine confiding her intimate doubts about the recurrent injunctions to femininity in the charter of the sport she has made the passion of her adolescent life: synchronised swimming. In a libretto that spoke about "becoming a human being", Clarac-Deloeuil choosed to read "becoming a woman", bringing to the surface "You're not born a woman, you become one" and others "Be beautiful and shut up!” well-known in the current battles for gender equality. An approach that in no way contradicts the spirit of a work that is all about that.” (Resmusica, link)

"Since a very tactful revisiting of Berlioz in Poitiers several years ago, Jean-Philippe Clarac and Olivier Deloeuil have confirmed their obvious ability to make things clear, where worn-out, systematic, if not dubious, theatrical elucida-tions are often rife. The argument for their staging is first of all its clarity: the Olympic pool and the world of synchronized swimming ath-letes, who also play an active part in the scenography, are all the better inserted into Dvořák's opera because the very figure of the naiad underlines the background from which the heroine, Rusalka, comes. She should accept to swim among her peers, away from any human presence, far from men who might defile her. The liquid element is omnipresent, all the better suggested by the swimming pool, shown in cross-section and open towards the audience... The main action takes place there. So, incidentally, water occupies the space of the auditorium and symbolically immerses the spectators (...). One of the obvious successes, underlining the fusion between the operatic subject and the directors' vision, is the video of swimmers in synchronized action during the orchestral interlude that introduces the choral scene at the Prince's court: this aquatic ballet, in complete osmosis with the score, further enhances the soundness of this transposition.” (ClassiqueNews, link)

All dates of performances


Two major new productions in 2023/24

For Clarac-Deloeuil > le lab the season 2023/24 will be highlighted by two new large-scale productions: first Dvořák's Rusalka, a co-production of four opera companies of the Région SUD Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur to first open at the Opéra Grand Avignon, then at the Opéra de Nice and subsequently at the Opéra de Bordeaux (the latter joining the group of co-producers from the Région SUD). Later on follows Bellini's La Sonnambula with which the creative arts company from Bordeaux débuts at the Rome Opera House; this production will witness Lisette Oropesa's debut in the title role of Amina.

All dates of performances


A triumphal audacity in Rouen!

As regular guests of the Opéra de Rouen Normandie, Clarac, Deloeuil > le lab created a dystopic and fascinating vision of Verdi’s Il Trovatore already in 2021. Remaining concerted with their artistic approach of opera as “a machine testing the presence”, Clarac, Deloeuil > le lab decided now to stage Haendel’s Serse with bubbling freshness and juvenile passion in a contemporary urban surrounding. The audacity turned out to become a triumph.


"Entrusted to the iconoclastic Clarac et Deloeuil > le lab, the production brings a fresh and youthful breeze into this piece from the 18th century." (ClassiqueNews, Emmanuel Andrieu) Source

"Clarac's and Deloeuil's basic concept is pretty clever and permits the justification of the delaying tactic within the piece that owes its dramatic impetus mainly to the vivacity of the music." (Forumopera, Guillaume Saintonge) Source

"The world of skateboarding suits perfectly to the game both on the stage as on the screen, generating situations which are often coherent, sometimes funny, but never boring." (Anaclase, Bertrand Bolognesi) Source

"All boys and girls are of my age… The stage setting in the classical sense is here a skatepark where rivals are competing against one another. A unique place where everyone meets riding boards, scooters or bikes." (ConcertClassic, Laurent Bury) Source

"For the plot of the comedy the two directors create a new and modern theatrical machine." (Olyrix, José Pons) Source

"Serse on skateboard and hyped up ... The queerish jumble is staged expressively zeitgeisty and with as much mockery as compassion." (sceneweb, Christophe Candoni) Source

"Jean-Philippe Clarac and Olivier Deloeuil deliver an opera by Handel with outstandingly way-out humor and moreover in modern style. The first-class cast and an adequate acting of the performers are thrilling the audience. (Diapason, Anne Ibos-Augé) Source


Haendel´s Serse in Rouen

As regular guests of the Opéra de Rouen Normandie, Clarac, Deloeuil > le lab created a dystopic and fascinating vision of Verdi’s Il Trovatore in 2021. Remaining concerted with their artistic approach of opera as “a machine testing the presence”, Clarac, Deloeuil > le lab is now daring to stage Haendel’s Serse with bubbling freshness and juvenile passion in a contemporary urban surrounding.

Opening night on March 10th, 2023

All dates of performances


Death in Venice in Strasbourg

The virus interrupted Clarac-Deloeuil > le lab’s preparation of the new Mozart-Da Ponte-trilogy at the Brussels La Monnaie / De Munt in March right before opening the performance-series. Their staging of La Clemenza di Tito at the Opéra de Rouen Normandie in November – although being conceived in two different versions – once in the original and once corona-compatible – had no chance to be presented in front of an audience in spite of constant efforts.

Clarac-Deloeuil > le lab’s next project is now Britten’s Death in Venice at the Opéra National du Rhin. There’s nothing else for it but to hope that this production at the beginning of the New Year will be rendered possible.

Opening-night in Strasbourg on February 21, 2021.

All dates of performances


We are glad to welcome the stage directors Jean-Philippe Clarac, Olivier Deloeuil and the brilliant team of Clarac-Deloeuil > le lab to our artists’ management.

„One must be absolutely modern“, wrote Arthur Rimbaud. With the aim of both evaluating their time as well as being part of their time, Jean-Philippe Clarac, Olivier Deloeuil and their team are exploring the world of multidisciplinary productions under the joint motto: opera, musical-theatre and concert as a tool for checking out what is topical at present.

Their work was interrupted by the virus in March when presenting the Mozart - Da Ponte - trilogy at the Brussels La Monnaie / De Munt. If the virus will permit it, they will be back to stage-work in November in a Covid-compatible version of La Clemenza di Tito at the Opéra de Rouen Normandie (opening-night on November 12, 2020), followed by Britten’s Death in Venice at the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg. Two upcoming opera-productions which will for sure be absolutely up to date and exciting, just as productions of Clarac-Deloeuil > le lab are in general.

September 2020