Albert Herring

Benjamin Britten

Visually stunning, Richard Brunel’s flamboyant and masterful staging deals in ambiguity and emotions. This play is a thorn-less rose made of radiant dramatic petals. We loved it just as fervently.

Gilles Macassar – Télérama

Thanks to his skillful scenography, Brunel manages to exploit all the resources of a real dramaturgical intelligence.

Renaud Machart – Le Monde

Richard Brunel had already convinced us of his acute sense of the set and his personal flair with Haydn’s L’infedelta delusa, which was performed in Aix last summer. His skills are even more honed today. For two and a half hours, we cry with laughter in front of grotesque characters and situations. Brunel and his team of decorators, costume and lighting designers’ elegant sense of humour is indeed quite exceptional.

Eric Dahan – Libération

An adept transposition based on a popular satire by Maupassant.

Michel Parouty – Les Echos

Hilarious and dark – we come out of this show feeling invigorated by its insolence and flippancy. This must be what Britten intended when he talked about “a different kind of opera”.

François Deletraz – Le Figaro

A magical night, full of imagination and poetry.

Claire Chazal – Femina

In this nonconformist production, director Richard Brunel avoids a dramatic faux pas and successfully modernizes his source material. Comedic features are efficiently disseminated here and there, as for example Herring’s incongruous attire – a tiara and a Miss Universe scarf bearing the inscription “Queen of May”. The whole thing quickly turns out to be consistent, sharp and very well-paced.

Diane Raillard – Forum Opera

With his usual resourcefulness, director Richard Brunel transposes the story quietly to one of these nondescript suburban towns under constant video surveillance.

Emmanuelle Giuliani – La Croix

Albert Herring is an entirely enthusing production. Ever the man of theatre, Richard Brunel cares about his singers and actors in equal measure – a quality that is both evident and rare enough to be emphasized here. The resulting show proves to be lively, incisive and realistic in a way that is far removed from what we are accustomed to when it comes to lyrical theatre.

We were also won over by the director’s ability to go beyond the superficial interpretation of a so-called “comic” chamber opera: Brunel has shed light on the dark forces, ever hidden in paranoid shadows, at play in the story. A particularly accurate and clever chiaroscuro which makes this production an indisputable success.

Robert Pénavayre – Classic Toulouse       

The stage direction is focused on the group of singing-actors and serves the score perfectly.

José Mª Irurzun – Send and Heard International

Albert Herring
Benjamin Britten

Libretto Eric Crozier, based on a novella by Maupassant

Music directors Laurence Equilbey / David Syrus
Director Richard Brunel
Set designer Marc Lainé
Costume designer Claire Risterucci
Lighting designer Mathias Roche
Sound designer Marc Chalosse
Assistant director Matthieu Roy
Dramaturgy collaborator Catherine Ailloud-Nicolas

Musicians of the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen and Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine

Produced by Opéra Comique-Théâtre national, Opéra de Rouen Haute-Normandie
Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse


Allan Clayton,
Nancy Gustafson,
Felicity Palmer,
Ailish Tynan,
Christopher Purves,
Simeon Esper,
Andrew Greenan,
Leigh Melrose,
Julia Riley,
Hanna Schaer,
Judith Derouin/Gaëlle Bakena Kodock,
Clémence Faber/Léonore Chapin,
Joseph Sellembien /Oscar Sajous