Thursday, April 22, 2010

Beaumarchais's Figaro plays: third opera this week in Rouen-France

As you all know, the Beaumarchais's Figaro plays Le Barbier de Séville and  Le Mariage de Figaro became arguably the most famous operas of all time. There is a third play though, called La Mère coupable [The Guilty Mother] that never became a good opera in spite of a couple of nice tries: Darius Milhaud composed one in 1966 but it wasn't a success (most probably because Milhaud wasn't really what you'd call a talent for composing an opera). The second one was by a Swedish composer Inger Wikström, but that opera didn't survive either. 

From L'amour Coupable by Pécou in Rouen (photo Jean Pouget)

In 2007, a French-American writer, Eugène Green, was asked to write a libretto inspired by the Beaumarchais's The Guilty Mother,  and an excellent composer, Thierry Pécou,  to compose a corresponding opera. The collaboration of these two will be crowned this week when the world's premiere of L'amour coupable [The Guilty Love] will take place at the Opéra de Rouen in Normandy (France).

If I manage to cancel a planned trip on Sunday, I'll try and go to Rouen to see the result of this VERY INTERESTING project. The hugely talented Edwin Crossley Mercer will sing Count Almaviva... 

Count Almaviva   Edwin Crossley Mercer
Countess Rosina Almaviva Jacqueline Mayeur
Susanna Gaëlle Méchaly
Figaro Matthieu Lécroart
Chevalier Léon Almaviva Mathias Vidal
Honoré Béjart Arnaud Marzoratti 
Florestine Natacha Kowalski

Chorus and Orchestre of the Rouen Opera
Conductor Jean Deroyer
Director Stephan Grögler
April 23, 25, 27 at Opéra de Rouen


  1. I notice that the choir and the orchestra at the Rouen Opera have put out notice of intended strike action for Sunday, and for the moment management can not be contacted - something to do with an in-house choir with Accentus and some possible redundancies among the present members of the choir. Check that out, because the other performances are either the Première tomorrow or Tuesday. I have been closely watching this because Crossley-Mercer is playing the title role of Almaviva.

  2. John Corigliano's Ghosts of Versailles was originally imagined as an adaptation of La Mère coupable, although it ultimately became something quite different.