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Showing posts from April, 2016

Berlioz - Béatrice et Bénédict

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Palais de la Monnaie, Brussels, Sunday April 3 2016

Conductor: Samuel Jean. Production: Richard Brunel. Sets: Anouk Dell'Aiera. Costumes: Claire Risterucci. Lighting: Laurent Castaingt. Don Pedro: Frédéric Caton. Claudio: Etienne Dupuis. Bénédict: Julien Dran. Don Juan: Sébastien Dutrieux. Léonato: Pierre Barrat. Héro: Sophie Karthäuser. Béatrice: Michèle Losier. Samarone: Lionel Lhote. Ursule: Eve-Maud Hubeaux. Orchestra and Chorus of La Monnaie.

I like directors who set you thinking, which is why Tcherniakov and Warlikowski are favourites. I'm less keen when a director decides to "improve" a work by rewriting and reordering it to suit his own ideas.

Richard Brunel seems to have found Béatrice et Bénédict a bit too frothy and fun, and decided it should be grimmer and that Samarone should play a bigger, blacker role. It had never occurred to me before, though it now seems obvious, that this is easy to do when a work has spoken dialogues. You can change the plot witho…