‘…delivered with sumptuous assurance'
'Paul Appleby and Stéphanie d’Oustrac excel in the title roles'
Béatrice et Bénédict
23 July-27 August
A new production
Director: Laurent Pelly
Conductor: Antonello Manacorda*
Cast includes: Stéphanie d’Oustrac, Paul Appleby
Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra
Love conquers all in Berlioz’s sparkling take on Much Ado About Nothing
The age-old premise of verbal sparring to mask true feelings of love is employed to magnificent effect in Béatrice et Bénédict.
Berlioz selected the sunniest and funniest elements of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and set them to ravishing music to create this witty love-hate duel. The opera’s overture explodes with a buoyant sense of fun. The sublime Act I duet-nocturne has been described by one critic as ‘a marvel of indescribable lyrical beauty’.
Seen through the unique vision of Laurent Pelly, this comic gem makes its long-awaited Glyndebourne premiere at Festival 2016.
Dates and times
Date Start Long interval Finish Price band Sat 23 July 5.20pm 6.40pm 8.55pm 3 Wed 27 July 5.20pm 6.40pm 8.55pm 3 Sat 30 July 5.20pm 6.40pm 8.55pm 3
Date Start Long interval Finish Price band Wed 3 August 5.20pm 6.40pm 8.55pm 4 Fri 5 August 5.20pm 6.40pm 8.55pm 4 Tue 9 August 5.20pm 6.40pm 8.55pm 5 Fri 12 August 5.20pm 6.40pm 8.55pm 4 Mon 15 August 5.20pm 6.40pm 8.55pm 5 Friday 19 August 5.20pm 6.40pm 8.55pm 4 Mon 22 August 5.20pm 6.40pm 8.55pm 5 Thu 25 August 5.20pm 6.40pm 8.55pm 5 Sat 27 August 5.20pm 6.40pm 8.55pm 4
Price band 4
Stalls, Foyer Circle, Circle £200, £180, £155, £135*
Upper Circle £110, £50*L
Boxes £180, £135, £110*L, £90*L, £50*L
Foyer Circle wheelchair spaces † £155, £90*L
Standing £20*, £15*L
Price band 5
Stalls, Foyer Circle, Circle £165, £155, £125, £110*
Upper Circle £95, £40*L
Boxes £155, £110, £95*L, £80*L, £40*L
Foyer Circle wheelchair spaces † £125, £80*L
Standing £15*, £10*L
In the Sicilian town of Messina, the citizens are gathered to welcome Don Pedro, prince of Aragon, who is about to return from a successful military campaign. Léonato, the governor, arrives with his niece Béatrice and his daughter Héro, who eagerly anticipates the return of her beloved Claudio, Don Pedro’s comrade in arms. When Don Pedro and his troops arrive, the wedding of Héro and Claudio is announced for that evening. Meanwhile, Héro’s cousin Béatrice has a very different kind of reunion with another soldier, Bénédict. The pair lose no time in resuming their longstanding ‘merry war’, trading taunts and wisecracks.
Somarone, the local music master, arrives with his musicians to rehearse the wedding song he has composed, a ham-handed double fugue.
Bénédict swears to Claudio and Don Pedro that he will never marry. His friends, however, conspire to trick Béatrice and Bénédict into admitting their love for one another. They stage a conversation for Bénédict to overhear in which Léonato tells Pedro that Béatrice loves Bénédict. Upon hearing this, Bénédict admits to himself that he loves Béatrice and resolves to pursue her.
Héro and her attendant Ursule have meanwhile hatched a similar plot, having arranged for Béatrice to overhear a conversation about Bénédict’s love for her. Héro and Ursula rhapsodise about the beauty of the evening and the bliss of love.
At the wedding celebration for Héro and Claudio, Somarone leads the guests in song. All are making merry except Béatrice, who admits to herself that she is in love with Bénédict, though she is loath to give up her freedom. Béatrice joins Héro and Ursule in extolling the joys of impending marriage. As Héro is summoned to her wedding, Béatrice runs into Bénédict. The two, though smitten, continue to bait one another.
As Claudio and Héro sign their marriage contract, the notary produces a second contract and asks if another couple wishes to be married. Béatrice and Bénédict confess their true feelings and sign the wedding contract, declaring that today a truce is signed but the war may continue tomorrow.
Cast and creative team
Conductor Antonello Manacorda*
Director Laurent Pelly
Set Designer Barbara de Limburg
Costume Designer Laurent Pelly
Lighting Designer Duane Schuler
Dialogue adapted by Agathe Melinand
Béatrice Stéphanie d’Oustrac
Bénédict Paul Appleby
Héro Sophie Karthäuser (23, 27, 30 July; 3, 5 9 August)**
Anne-Catherine Gillet (12, 15, 19, 22, 25, 27 August)**
Claudio Philippe Sly
Somarone Lionel Lhote
Don Pedro Frédéric Caton
Ursule Katarina Bradić
London Philharmonic Orchestra
The Glyndebourne Chorus
**Sophie Karthäuser and Anne-Catherine Gillet replace Hélène Guilmette, who has had to withdraw for medical reasons