Cherubino – cherub – is not a name bestowed at baptism. Mingling the sacred and the secular, it is an intractable contradiction, at once angel, child and Love itself. In paintings by Raphael and Titian, hovering blond cherubs accompany the Virgin on her Assumption. Fragonard cherubs, still hovering, make mischief, hiding behind a swing or laughing at the top of fountains. Apparently invisible to the other characters, they illuminate the canvas with love's smile, reminding us of our fatal need to love, the happiness it brings and its promise of pain.
Inspired by Beaumarchais, Mozart and Da Ponte's masterpiece returns to the Paris Opera in Giorgio Strehler's legendary production, revised and restored by those who attended its birth: Ezio Frigerio, Humbert Camerlo and Maryse Flach. With the finest Mozartians of our day, a great moment in the history of opera lives again at the Opera Bastille.
Photo: © Fred Thoulet/Opéra national de Paris
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