• Details


    Béatrice et Bénédict will be available to watch on demand, for free, for seven days, until 11.59pm on Tuesday 16 August.

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    Watch online details and FAQs

    Watch in cinemas

    Love conquers all in Berlioz’s sparkling take on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

    From Elizabeth and Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, to Hermione and Ron in the Harry Potter series, the age-old premise of verbal sparring to mask true feelings of love or passion is employed to magnificent effect in Berlioz’s 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 and elegant wit, and there are several splendid numbers for the female characters, especially the sublime Act I duet-nocturne, described by one critic as a ‘marvel of indescribable lyrical beauty’.

    Conducted by Antonello Manacorda* and directed with unique vision by Laurent Pelly, Berlioz’s comic gem makes its long-awaited Glyndebourne premiere at Festival 2016.

    *Antonello Manacorda replaces Robin Ticciati, who has had to withdraw for medical reasons

    Sung in French with English subtitles.

    Watch online

    You can watch Béatrice et Bénédict online, right here on this page. It will be available to watch on demand, for free, for seven days, until 11.59pm on Tuesday 16 August.

    Running order

    Act I – 1hr 15m
    Interval – 30m
    Act II – 1hr


    Where can you see this opera online?

    1. On this page
    2. On telegraph.co.uk – find more details here

    Why does the video player say it isn’t encoded for my device?

    Please make sure you’ve installed the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

    How can you join in?

    You can join the conversation by following @Glyndebourne and the hashtag #F16Beatrice.

    How long is the video available for?

    After the live† stream the opera will be available to watch here on demand until 11.59pm on Tuesday 16 August.

    What is the next opera you can see online?

    We haven’t announced our online programme for Festival 2017 yet. Please check our what’s on listings or sign up to our email list to receive updates, exclusive news and more here.

    I don’t have tickets yet – can I still get them?

    There’s limited availability for the remaining Festival performances, but don’t forget there’s still time to book your tickets for Tour 2016, which begins on 14 October at Glyndebourne before visiting Milton Keynes, Canterbury, Norwich, Woking and Plymouth.

    On stage are two of the world’s most beloved operas – Madama Butterfly and Don Giovanni – and a special event by BBC broadcaster Paul Rissmann: Don Giovanni: Behind the Curtain, providing a behind-the-scenes exploration of how an opera is staged. On screen in cinemas is Handel’s Saul, filmed live in Festival 2015.

    Watch in cinemas

    Tuesday 9 August
    LIVE† at 6.30pm

    Find a screening near you

    You can see Béatrice et Bénédict live† from Festival 2016 in cinemas across the UK from Tuesday 9 August.

    †Please note that due to the 90-minute interval at Glyndebourne and the need to shorten the interval for cinema and online audiences a delay of approximately an hour is built into broadcasting the first half, which is made up in the second half.

  • Cast and creative team

    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

    Cast includes

    Béatrice Stéphanie d’Oustrac
    Bénédict Paul Appleby
    Héro Sophie Karthaüser (23 July-9 August), Anne-Catherine Gillet (12-27 August)**
    Claudio Philippe Sly
    Somarone Lionel Lhote
    Don Pedro Frédéric Caton
    Ursule Katarina Bradić

    London Philharmonic Orchestra
    The Glyndebourne Chorus

    *Antonello Manacorda replaces Robin Ticciati, who has had to withdraw for medical reasons

    **Sophie Karthaüser and Anne-Catherine Gillet replace Hélène Guilmette, who has had to withdraw for medical reasons

  • Synopsis

    Act I

    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 long-standing ‘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 each other. 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 Ursule rhapsodise about the beauty of the evening and the bliss of love.

    Act II

    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.

  • Watch in cinemas

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