Much like Elizabeth and Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, the age-old device 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.
Tricked into believing they love each other, the headstrong couple fall heavily for one another, once they realise that the merry war they have waged masks their true feelings.
The quarrelsome title couple are played by French mezzo Stéphanie d’Oustrac, and American tenor Paul Appleby, a regular at the Metropolitan Opera. Conducted by Jonathan Cohen and seen through the unique vision of director Laurent Pelly, Berlioz’s comic gem made its Glyndebourne premiere in Festival 2016.
With the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Glyndebourne Chorus.
Recorded live at Glyndebourne Opera House, Festival 2016.