LIVE RECORDING FROM THE THÉÂTRE MUSICAL DE PARIS, CHÂTELET 2000
Helen DAME FELICITY LOTT
Paris YANN BEURON
Menelaus MICHEL SÉNÉCHAL
Agamemnon LAURENT NAOURI
LES MUSICIENS DU LOUVRE
CHORUS OF THE MUSICIENS DU LOUVRE
Conducted by Marc Minkowski
Costumes and Stage Direction by Laurent Pelly
Set Design by Chantal Thomas
Staged and costumed by Laurent Pelly, with sets by Chantal Thomas and choreography by Laura Scozzi , this production of La Belle Hélène never forgets for one moment that Offenbach’s parody of the origins of the Trojan war -clearly recognisable
in his day as a satire on the moral laxity of Second Empire high society- is, above all, a supreme manifestion of his comic genius. From start to fi nish it combines a musically superb performance with a stream of visual humour that fl ows from Pelly’s core idea that the action all takes place in the imagination of a sleeping, sex-starved, suburban housewife.
Dame Felicity Lott is magnifi cent as the woman who gets into bed beside her somnolent old husband and dreams of being the most beautiful woman in the world, entangled in amorous adventures with the virile young Paris, tastily portrayed by Yann Beuron. And just as dreams do not respect the normal limitations of logic, time and place, so her nighttime fantasies combine the everyday with the mythical, and muddle up Greece, ancient and modern.
“Le spectacle, loin de tout-parodique ou du total burlesque, est d’une fraîcheur rare et communicative. Le public rit beaucoup, non pas de ce rire convenu signifiant que la référence ou le second degré ont fait mouche, mais du rire franc,
irrépressible, qui est celui du plaisir enfant“ (Le Monde).