Ein Reich, ein Volk, ein König

In many ways Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots is a typical mid 19th century French grand opéra.  It takes a sweeping, epic story; in this case the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, and grafts onto it the elements the paying public demanded; spectacle, ballet, showpiece arias etc.  The result is unwieldy and, when applied to such grim subject matter, almost grotesque.  The 1991 Deutsche Oper production by John Dew (performed in German as Die Hugenotten) takes these disparate elements and works with them; mixing laugh out loud and extremely grim to create a piece of music theatre that is truly disturbing.

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