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La Belle Hélène

From 03/04/2006 at 07:00 to 19/05/2006 at 07:00

La Belle Hélène - ENO London

Laurent Pelly's critically acclaimed interpretation of ''La Belle Hélène'' receives its long-awaited London stage premiere at ENO, having charmed audiences at the ''Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris''.

In his UK opera house debut, Pelly is reunited with the celebrated soprano Felicity Lott, who appeared as Offenbach's heroine in the director's original production of this triumphant operetta.

Playing opposite Lott's Helen is the former company artist Toby Spence, who makes his role debut as Paris.

Emmanuel Joel, a specialist in the French repertory, takes up the baton in this supremely entertaining show 'that reaches the comic heights Offenbach demands' (The Financial Times).

From 3rd of April to 19th May 2006

All performances will have English subtitles with the exception of those on 13th April and 17th May 2006.

13 Performances Only!

For venue and booking information,

Director: Laurent Pelly;
Laura Scozzi
Set designer:
Chantel Thomas
Lighting Designer:
Joël Adam
Costume Designer: Laurent Pelly
Times: 18:30 & 19:30
Running time: 2h30
Prices: £10-£72 review:

We went, we saw, we’re not sure

This is the type of opera that you either love or hate.  It’s completely over the top and ridiculous at times but one has to remember throughout that this is all a dream. Yes, everything is possible when you dream. You can be a very ordinary woman and become the most beautiful woman in the world and yes the most handsome and clever man in the world can fall in love with you. Yes, sheep can be dancing and kissing and yes, all sort of strange people can be coming and going with no reason.
Dame Felicity Lott, perhaps the last person you would have imagined in Helene’s part, is brilliant. She’s funny, she sings beautifully and she makes the most of this Offenbach’s operetta. Paris, Toby Spencer, is absolutely perfect in everyway.
Nothing negative is to be said about the singing or the costumes. However, through the evening, part of it is so silly that you wonder whether this is brilliant or completely made. The French would probably call it ‘loufoque’.
The best recommendation one can make is : if you tend to prefer the main stream opera then this is not for you. On the other hand, if you like lighthearted, fun operetta and tend to be up for something different, then you will probably enjoy it.

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