Laurent Pelly stages Robert le diable at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

04 Dec 2012

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The Royal Opera House is staging Meyerbeer’s long-forgotten grand French opera ‘Robert le diable’ 122 years after its last Covent Garden performance. 

After the première of Robert le diable at the Paris Opéra in 1831 it enjoyed immediate success with 100 back-to-back performances.  Now, under Laurent Pelly’s magical direction he reinvigorates this forgotten gem - a struggle between love and evil - through a staging inspired by medieval France.  

The production, with set design by Chantal Thomas, is conducted by Daniel Oren and features Bryn Hymel (Robert), Patrizia Ciofi (Isabelle) and Marina Poplavskaya (Alice).  Première night is on 6 December and continues throughout December.

“The Royal Opera, staging the work for the first time since 1890 – the questions why and why not spring to the lips simultaneously – called on Laurent Pelly to direct, with ingenious choreography by Lionel Hoche and conductor Daniel Oren tight-reined in the pit.   With sumptuous costumes designed by Pelly himself, it looked stylish. The medieval setting inspired colourful pop-up book imagery from set designer Chantal Thomas.” - The Guardian

" Laurent Pelly rose brilliantly. Like his production of Cendrillon last season, this one comes straight out of his childhood story books.   The stage effects of the fires of hell and the struggle between angel and devil for Robert’s soul are superbly imaginative, as is the simple frame used for the chapel in Act V.   This production makes for a thoroughly entertaining evening of opera. Hats off to the Royal Opera for exhuming this work in such style." - Bachtrack