The old Tzar Dodon, tired of ruling his country, manipulated by his political advisors - among which the obscure Astrologer - and showing little interest in protecting his kingdom against foreign agression, relies on a magic Golden Cockerel to warn him in case of an attack. But when the Cockerel tells him of his own defeat, the Tzar quickly falls in love with his enemy, the beautiful Tzaritza of Shemakha, who easily convinces him to surrender his empire by making him propose to her. A cruel and sardonic fairytale, Rimsky-Korsakov's Golden Cockerel draws from a poem by Alexander Pushkin, and undoubtedly counts among the most subversive works in the history of music. A very direct attack against autocracy, stupidity and political inertia, it was censored and premiered only in 1909, one year after Rimsky-Korsakov's death. This new production from the Theâtre de la Monnaie was imagined by Laurent Pelly. Drawing from the modernity of Rimsky-Korsakov's musical and dramatic imagination, the ambiguities of it's specular structure, and it's underlying reflection on language, manipulation and absurdity, the French stage director underlies the heavily symbolical aspects of this fierce and pitiless tale, all the while remembering both it's historical context and it's universal philosophical depth... French conductor Alain Altinoglu works wonders with the Theâtre de la Monnaie Symphonic Orchestra, and reaffirms his strong affinities with Russian music, which were already made clear in the Tchaikovsky dyptich Iolanta / The Nutcracker at the Paris Opera in 2015.