martes, 5 de marzo de 2013

Reynaldo Hahn’s Ciboulette at Paris Opéra Comique

Foto: ©Elisabeth Carecchio
Suzanne Daumann
This operetta is a celebration of Paris, as it was, as it is, and as we want it to be – the city of love and nostalgia. Tonight, longing for love and love of longing are dancing together round and round. It’s 2013; the piece is from 1923 and is acted out in 1867…  The nostalgic stage design by Bernard Fau and Citronelle Dufay is based on life-size enlargements of contemporary photographs of the ancient Central Market, half-timbered houses and fields and a windmill.  Fortunately, Laurence Equilbey’s musical direction counteracts the nostalgic indulgences: her luminous presence anchors us right in the present moment, draws the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Toulon into a contagious dance of joy, highlights every charming and tender bit of the score. The piece tells the love story of a young market girl from the country and a disillusioned gentleman, surrounded by a bunch of loveable and funny characters: Julie Fuchs, warm and agile soprano, plays the charming country girl, all in innocent sensuality. Julien Behr, sensitive and touching tenor, interprets her lover Antonin. They have a well-meaning helper: Duparquet, an elderly man, lost in nostalgia for his lost love, interpreted by Jean-François Lapointe, baritone, with a rich and sensitive timbre. Before she met Antonin, Ciboulette had eight fiancés, who appear in plaid trousers and multicoloured and –shaped tailcoats  - David Belugou’s costumes are a marvel all around – to dance a puppet dance before the beauty tells them goodbye. Then there are Zénobie, Antonin’s first mistress, played by Eva Ganizate; Ciboulette’s uncle and aunt, Jean-Claude Sarragosse and Guillemette Laurens – wonderful singing and playing everywhere.  Michel Fau is the stage director and plays the Contessa di Castiglione so amazingly that he almost steals the show from their rightful owners and it takes all the verve and stage presence of Julie Fuchs to get it back.  A lovely night out in Paris, bravo everyone!


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