Boxed in: Pelly serves up a grey Béatrice et Bénédict at Glyndebourne

Berlioz: Béatrice et Bénédict ***

Glyndebourne, 23rd July 2016

It’s a delicious irony that Shakespeare is celebrated at this most English of opera festivals by a Frenchman directing a French comedy. Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream follows in August, but first Glyndebourne serves up Laurent Pelly’s typically quirky take on Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict, itself an oblique tribute to The Bard, taking the “merry war” between Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing as his wafer thin plot. It’s light and fluffy, making it perfect summer festival fare. Sadly, like a soggy soufflé, Pelly’s one-trick staging soon falls flat.

Paul Appleby (Bénédict) and Stéphanie d'Oustrac (Béatrice) © Richard Hubert Smith

Paul Appleby (Bénédict) and Stéphanie d’Oustrac (Béatrice)
© Richard Hubert Smith

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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