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Music with Ease > 19th Century French Opera > Béatrice et Bénédict - Berlioz


Béatrice et Bénédict
(English title: Beatrice and Benedict)
An Opera by Hector Berlioz


Opera in two acts, by Berlioz. Words by the composer, after Shakespeare’s comedy, "Much Ado About Nothing." Produced at Baden Baden, 1862.


CHARACTERS

DON PEDRO, a general………………………….. Bass
LEONATO, governor of Messina………………… Bass
HERO, his daughter………………………………. Soprano
BEATRICE, his niece…………………………….. Soprano
CLAUDIO, an officer…………………………….. Baritone
BENEDICT, an officer…………………………… Tenor
URSULLA, Hero’s companion…………………… Contralto
SOMARONA, orchestral conductor……………… Bass

The story is an adaptation of the short version of Shakespeare’s play, which preserves the spirit of the comedy, but omits the saturnine intrigue of Don John against Claudio and Hero. The gist of the comedy is the gradual reaction of the brilliant but captious Beatrice from pique and partially feigned indifference toward the witty and gallant Benedict, to love. Both have tempers. In fact they reach an agreement to marry as a result of a spirited quarrel.





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