We’re purging baby !

Philippe Boesmans

Absolutely hilarious. A scatological anti-opera of the highest quality.

Bram Van Haelter, De Standaard

A delightfully malicious work.

Gaelle Moury, Le Soir

Touching, kitschy, funny.

Le Vif

Constipated people, please stay away !

It’s funny, it’s grating, it’s as nasty as Humanity with a capital letter, and so very human with a small letter. It’s a cure for impertinence. Yes, you can laugh at poo in opera. And it does us a great amount of good.

Stéphane Renard, Le soir

Co-librettist Richard Brunel’s production is skilful, thanks to Étienne Pluss’s set design. He sets this scathing satire of middle-class stupidity in a child’s bedroom, where a baby’s constipation puts everything out of order. Another good idea is to have the baby played by an adult actor of immense stature (Tibor Ockenfels), drawing attention to the monstrous place he ends up taking in this constricted universe.

Christian Merlin, Figaro

Philippe Boesmans and Richard Brunel’s opera is definitely a must-see for the creativity of its music and staging. And how mischievous are the musical references! Mendelssohn’s Hebrides theme, which comes up when the couple embrace after arguing about the geographical location of the Scottish islands, or the Graal theme from Wagner’s Parsifal, which accompanies the presentation to Chouilloux of a theoretically unbreakable vase…

Sophie Bourdais, Télérama

A last laugh for posterity.

This is not Richard Brunel’s first experience of Feydeau’s theatre, and he succeeds in expressing its dual comic and critical power by putting the child as king at the centre: a boy and then a young man play the role.

Benoît Fauchet, Diapason

On the menu: burlesque humour and joyfully creative music.

Gaelle Moury, Le Soir

The posthumous premiere of the Belgian composer’s last opera, inspired by Feydeau, reminds us that he loved telling stories and talking to a large audience. His exquisitely refined music is served up by an impeccable cast and a delightful staging. A wonderful show to discover.

Philippe Venturini, Les Echos

Everything contributes to the comic effect, but it also helps to make the meaning of the work denser and to multiply the levels of approach. These elements act as a counterpoint to the overall lightness of the libretto, which is all to the good.

Forum opera

Richard Brunel’s staging, centred on the child’s bedroom and dressed in the fashion of the second twentieth century, underlines both the absurdity of the situation and the mediocrity of the characters. Only Toto, first played by a young boy and then a very tall young man, seems to be above the fray and, by manipulating everyone, achieves his ends.

Philippe Venturini, Les Echos

It’s a bit like Luis Buñuel’s film The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.

Forum opera

Philippe Boesmans’ latest opus demonstrates the art of staying young, with emotion and heartfelt laughter for an audience visibly filled with music and humour. There was huge applause for this work, and above all for the career of Philippe Boesmans.

Soline Heurtebise, Olyrix

Brunel’s contribution to the staging, in addition to his highly effective work of pure theatre, is also to insert a fantastic, surrealist dimension into the work, since the whole show can also be seen as a child’s nightmare.

Forum opera

An unclassifiable last jewel, full of irony and irreverence, by way of a tender farewell and a delicious mockery of both the ‘great operatic tradition’ and Death. Dramatic efficiency and offbeat humour. The whole laughing mechanism is well-oiled and meticulously crafted – no pleonasm with the spiritual score – leaving enough space and suspense here and there for the audience to have a good laugh.

Benedict Hevry, Res Musica

We’re purging baby ! (On purge bébé !)
Philippe Boesmans

Opera in one act
Libretto by Richard Brunel based on Georges Feydeau’s play, On purge bébé.
Finalized composition by Benoit Mernier.

Music Director Bassem Akiki
Director Richard Brunel
Set designer Etienne Pluss
Costume designer Bruno De Lavenère
Lignting designer Laurent Castaingt
Dramaturg Catherine Ailloud-Nicolas
Assistant director Benoit de Leersnyder


Jean-Sébastien Bou,
Jodie Devos,
Denzil Delaere,
Carlos Natale,
Sophie Pondjiclis
Jerôme Varnier
Tibor Ockenfels
Martin Da Silva Magalhaes,
Aurélio Gamboa dos Santos.

Symphonic Orchestra la Monnaie

Produced by La Monnaie-Bruxelles
Coproduced by Opéra National de Lyon

Thanks to Sylvain Cambreling for his help and support to Philippe Boesmans and Benoît Mernier