Dec 6, 2009

Orphée aux Enfers - Aix 2009

Orphée aux Enfers

opéra-bouffe en 2 actes et 4 tableaux de Jacques Offenbach
livret d'Hector Crémieux and Ludovic Halévy

Eurydice - Pauline Courtin
Orphée - Julien Behr
Aristée/Pluton - Mathias Vidal
Jupiter - Vincent Deliau
L'Opinion Publique - Marie Gautrot
John Styx - Jerome Billy
Mercure - Paul Cremazy
Cupidon - Emmanuelle de Negri
Diane - Soula Parassidis
Vénus - Marie Kalinine
Minerve - Estelle Kaique
Junon - Sabine Revault d'Allonnes

Choeur du Festival d'Aix-en-Provence
Camerata Salzburg
Conductor - Alain Altinoglu

Director - Yves Baunesne
Aix, Théâtre de l'Archevêché
Arte broadcast, July 16, 2009

Acte 2, Jupiter

I'm afraid the production of Yves Baunesne leaves me with yet another bad taste in the mouth.
The music of Offenbach is already cliché as it is, as well as the libretto, and addind every other vaudevillesque cliché there is quite quickly disconnected by from the performance.
The facts that every cast member (Julien Behr as Orphée excepted)has such a limited stage presence and that the actors' direction is so rough sure amplifies the mediocrity of the production.

Acte 2, 3e tableau, l'Olympe

"Ce formidable bordel!" (to use Ionesco's words) is what this production really is, constantly shifting between boring tricks alla Scribe and boring grotesque tricks (Jupiter metamorphosis into a fly in Act 2, the choice of the director to have Eurydice say the spoken dialogues with a strong "Titi"-Parisian accent - quite absurd considering the gap with the music, ...).

Both the sets, the lights and the costumes are also a disappointment, beeing anything but original, edgy, smart or enlightning.

Acte 2, 4e tableau

The musical interpretation is equally as bad, singers, orchestra and conductor included.
Most of these young singers haven't developed yet, and their technique is lacking some basics (intensity and projection mainly); the conduction of Alain Altinoglu I also disliked, lacking emotion, color and brightness (the strings were especially to blame), and the overall tempo did remind me more of military marches than of Offenbach's usual spiciness.

Overall a production to forget.

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