"Since it’s obv ious we’re going to hate each other, let’s get married!"
Béatrice et Bénédict, Acte II, scène 6
From bickering and disputes to wars of words and fleeting glances, Béatrice and Bénédict can hardly bear each other’s presence and yet both constantly seek ways to be together. With two strong temperaments, as irritating as they are endearing, theirs is a passion that arouses the doubts of those who by stratagem reveal a love that only the protagonists managed to ignore… The quality of the libretto, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing has often been questioned, but the work’s magnificent duets and trios have always been held in high regard. Carried along in a maelstrom of laughter, joy, bad faith, deferred confessions, concealed kindness and false indifference, the opera overflows with musical summits, the epitome of which is the scintillating Nocturne at the end of Act I – a slow duet of pure poetry in which Ursule and Héro express their unfathomable love for nature.