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Le Figaro - « The marriage of Figaro »

Dazzling:I came out of the show quite dazzled by the welter of intelligence, taste and wit which imbues it from beginning to end. Because this Pierre Jourdan production sparkles with a thousand new discoveries, carrying the action forward at a great pace, multiplying the moments of humour and slamming doors as gaily as in any Feydeau.The French text adapted by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt is largely responsible for making it work so well. It really is a jewel. Superbly matching every note in the score, this version is a kind of resurrection for a work whose original French version had become singularly out of date,lacking in musicality and decidedly old-fashioned. With Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, we finally understand the finest details of the recitatives and the audience can follow the really juicy action step by step.As for the arias, they befit from a really masterful matching of each syllable to the music. It is a total success. With Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt remaining perfectly faithful both to Lorenzo da Ponte's libretto and the spirit of Beaumarchais.Jacques Doucelin

Le Monde - « The Marriage Of Figaro »

Translation to come...

Le Point - « The Marriage Of Figaro »

Producing "The Marriage of Figaro" in French is a project involving several types of ambition.For we should remember that although opera is music and singing, it is also theatre. So even if gifted singers can sing in all languages, they are more likely to be most at ease in their own.This revives a necessary, if insufficient, tradition that has is roots in the XIXth century when attempts were made to bring opera to a wider public at a time when audiences were largely made up of working people.This is how the English National Opera at the Coliseum operates, largely responsible for bringing so many fine British voices to the fore. In an attempt to try the same formula in France, "The Marriage of Figaro" represents the ideal hypothesis, since it is a transposition of a French theatrical masterpiece with the aid of Mozartian genius.This undertaking had long been Pierra Jourdan's dream - but he always came up against the same obstacle. Finding the author who could make Figaro sing in French, faithful to Mozart while at the same time coming as close as possible to the verve of the Beaumarchais original. An obstacle which disappeared when Jordan saw and admired "The Visitor", the play which revealed the talents of the young Eric-Emmannuel Schmitt ("Enigmatic Variations", "The Libertine", etc.). For he then discovered that this gifted playwright had continued his musical studies, is an excellent pianist and composer, and maintains close relationships with the musical world.There was also an ultimate sign of destiny in the fact that while being treated for a serious bout of depression during his adolescence, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt had discovered the "Marriage" with wonderment, drawing from it the energy he needed to recover. The two met hit it off immediately. Although Schmitt didn't realise he had a two year project ahead of him, exploring the frontier between the "two Figaros" in order to hone a French version capable of satisfying both its masters. At Compiègne, the singers were also chosen for their acting ability. During rehearsals, before singing their text, Pierre Jourdan asked them to speak their roles, in order to fully get into character.. This was a tough challenge, since singers rely on the music to guide them in the words. Without the music their memory tends to block... But once it unblocks, the words become new keys opening up the performance and strengthening it. The opera benefits twice over - from the understanding of the text and from the greater depth in the acting. So that the music, which has such a subtle association with the characters and the action, takes on a whole new dimension. Beaumarchais and Mozart positively sparkle and sing hand in hand, "If you want to dance my little count, I'll play to you on my guitar..."Pierre Billard

Le Figaro - « The Marriage Of Figaro »

Translation to come...

Diapason - « The Marriage Of Figaro »

Eric-Emmanual Schmitt proves that there are ways of avoiding lines such as "my heart is sighing" and other such nonsense. His adaptation retains the impact of the words and sounds, as well as the phrasal form. So that the music is still able to flow freely in the arias and keep its impetus in the recitatives. Thus proving that translation is possible (although that is hardly the term for work of this kind) without betraying the original. Michel Parouty 

Le Monde et la Musique - « The Marriage Of Figaro »

Why not put on "The Marriage of Figaro" in French ? The English National Opera in London performs an international repertoire in English without this impinging on the quality of the productions.At the Compiègne-based French Musical Theatre, Pierre Jourdan staunchly defends the national repertoire, but considers Mozart's comic opera to deserve being part of it because of the Beaumarchais-inspired libretto. Here again, why not ? He asked the fashionable playwright.Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt to produce a new French version of the text, with the aim of avoiding phrases like "my heart is sighing" and similar insipid nonsense found in previous translations. Once again, we cannot fail to applaud the result !François Lafon

Répertoire - « The Marriage Of Figaro »

The libretto reworked by Pierre Jourdan himself and Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt has overcome the artificial roughness of the crusty old translation the National Opera was already using between the wars. So we can now enjoy the musical equivalent of a restored fresco or freshly-cleaned painting. The music itself may remain the same, but the words blend with it better, more naturally, more freely