Watching Opéra Baroque was the most entertaining virtual event that I have seen lately. Basil Twist has modernized a 1753 opera-ballet using puppets. In the New York Times article: “Basil Twist in Paris: When Puppets Meet Baroque Opera” you read about two Americans who worked on this production in New York for the presentation in Paris at the Opéra Comique. The opera-ballet is full of special effects, including about 60 sheep, Mr. Twist, the stage director said in an interview.
What you will see
The life-size marionettes/puppets and live artists perform Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville’s “Titon et l’Aurore”. The 1753 opera-ballet is the story of a “tumultuous liaison and seemingly unbreakable liaison between l’Aurore (“Dawn”), a goddess running from her immortal fate, and shepherd Titon”–Medici.tv. The staging is well done! The production is very entertaining with the costumes, special effects and puppetry. The opera is presented with English subtitles. Very worth the watch!
In the three acts, some of the sixty sheep stack themselves miraculously, they dance, they vibrate to the music, stand on their hind legs, float and dance in front of a full moon and listen attentively to the leaves singing in the pastoral setting. Spoiler alert: puppeteers skillfully manipulate their every movement.
In an interview for the Opéra Comique (where the Opera Baroque was performed) for medici.tv, Basil Twist (Stage director, Stage design, Puppeteer, Costumes), explains how and why he chose sheep for “Titon et l’Aurore”.
In the William Christie (conductor) interview, Mr. Christie gives some background on the composer and the setting of the piec.
Originally broadcast live January 19, 2021 for virtual viewing, the opera-ballet is available on Medici.tv until April 19. You will then find “Titon et l’Aurore” on the Mezzo platform. Originally scheduled to be live with an audience, the Opéra Comique in Paris as with all theatres is on a confinement hiatus.
How to Watch
Open a free account on Medici.tv to watch the full version replay. In the search box, type triton et l’aurore.
If you like what you see, make a donation to the Opéra Comique.