Opera

Britten's Albert Herring

Richard Brunel (stage director), Laurence Equilbey (musical direction) – With Allan Clayton (Albert Herring), Nancy Gustafson (Lady Billows), Felicity Palmer (Florence Pyke)

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Cast

Richard Brunel — Stage director

Marc Lainé — Scenography

Claire Risterucci — Costumes

Mathias Roche — Lighting

Allan Clayton — Actor (Albert Herring)

Nancy Gustafson — Actress (Lady Billows)

Felicity Palmer — Actress (Florence Pyke)

Hanna Schaer — Actress (Mrs Herring)

Christopher Purves — Actor (Mr Gedge)

Ailish Tynan — Actor (Miss Wordsworth)

Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen Normandie

Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine

Laurence Equilbey — Music director

Program notes

Feast your eyes and ears on Benjamin Britten's chamber opera Albert Herring, directed for the stage by Richard Brunel and coproduced by the Opéra Comique in Paris and the Opéra de Rouen Normandie. Inspired by Guy de Maupassant's novella Le Rosier de Madame Husson, this work paints a vivid portrait of the young title character, alternately praised and scorned by a self-righteous, youth-fearing society whose hypocrisy becomes the object of Britten's trenchant wit.

Brunel's mise en scène rests on a standardized set design that accentuates the control and surveillance to which the young characters find themselves subjected. The director draws upon the fears and hypocrisies of our contemporary society as well, showing that things are rarely as they seem under a sanitized surface. With its musical subtlety—carefully educed by conductor Laurence Equilbey—and its dramatic heft, this chamber opera rises to the meet the high stakes of 20th-century opera. The top-notch cast convinces at every turn, including an exceptional Allan Clayton in the title role.

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Available until

Tuesday, June 30, 2026