Béatrice et Bénédict

Opera

Writers: Hector Berlioz William Shakespeare

Overview

Show Information

Based on the Play/Book/Film
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
Category
Opera
Number of Acts
2
First Produced
1862
Genres
Comedy, Romance
Settings
Period, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
Messina, Sicily, 16th century
Cast Size
medium
Orchestra Size
Large
Dancing
None
Licensor
None/royalty-free
Ideal for
College/University, Professional Opera
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes young adult, adult, mature adult, elderly characters

Synopsis

With her cousin dating Claudio, Beatrice always ends up having to talk to his best friend, Benedict. He is so annoying she just cannot help but insult him. But when he goes away to war, she finds herself thinking about him. Can she really have feelings for him, or is her mind just playing tricks on her?

It is rather a surprise to Benedict when he finds out that Beatrice is in love with him. She taunts him and insults him so much, but has she really been hiding feelings for him all this time? He has to admit she is rather beautiful, and incredibly intelligent, and there is just a chance that he might give up his committed bachelorhood for someone like her.

Do Benedict and Beatrice’s friends know them better than they know themselves? Perhaps they will be carried away in the romance of a wedding, and the offer of a pre-prepared wedding contract at the right moment. All it will take is for one of them to swallow their pride and admit their feelings, but will they be able to do it?

Berlioz’s operatic retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing will give us the answers.

Lead Characters