Words (almost) fail me

If I had been languishing in obscurity for 250 years like Joseph Bodin de Boismortier I think I’d rather stay that way than be rescued by Hervé Niquet and the French “comedy” duo Dino and Shirley (Corinne and Gilles Benizio).  To be fair their take on Boismortier’s 1743 ballet-comédie Don Quichotte chez la duchesse isn’t nearly as bad as their previous brutal murder of Purcell’s King Arthur but it’s really weird and patchy.  It’s rather hard to describe in fact.  It’s a sort of mash up of farce, commedia, slapstick and pastiche in which bits of baroque opera occasionally break out.  It’s also staged as meta theatre with the stage interacting with the pit and Niquet himself ending up in the action.


Continue reading

Authentic? Opera Atelier’s Persée on DVD

I’ve been attending performances of Opera Atelier for over twenty years off and on but until viewing this recording of Lully’s Persée I’d never seen them on DVD. I was curious to see how the unique Opera Atelier style would come over on DVD and to what extent watching a recording, which I could compare fairly with other DVD performances, would affect my views of Opera Atelier’s strengths and weaknesses.

Continue reading