Guide to Opéra de Baugé

Finding Nemorino: A truly excellent L'elisir d'amore from Opéra de Baugé

If Debussy intended Pelléas et Mélisande as a deliberate anti-Tristan, Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore perhaps stumbled into the role. Donizetti was of course not responding to Wagner’s opera (which would not be written for another three decades) but to the legend Wagner would also draw on, with results that were rather more... German, shall we say, than the sunlit uplands of L’elisir.
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Fringante Cenerentola à Baugé

S’attaquer à Rossini implique de comprendre son alchimie – en somme, de se souvenir qu’il ne peut exister sans qu’on mobilise la légéreté et la tenue, le souffle et la précision.
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Murder amidst orientalist excess: Opéra de Baugé's Aida

A note in the programme honestly records the trepidation Opéra de Baugé felt in taking on Verdi’s Aida, a tougher prospect than the other operas with which it’s in rep, Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus.
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L’âme tendre de Lucia à Baugé

C’est que la Lucia de Bernadette Grimmett n’est pas révisionniste, et ne confond pas regard et distanciation : à rebours des malentendus transformant la meurtrière en vengeresse, et la victime en femme forte, Lucia n’apparaît ici qu’en elle-même. 
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Eisenstein beached: Opéra de Baugé provide an entertaining Fledermaus

It’s a curious thing that when operatic characters are drinking at a party, they invariably sing about how nice it is to be drinking at a party – never sports results, or the weather, or how all them bleedin’ ’ungarians are coming over to Austria and taking all our jobs...
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Pardon et deuxième chance : la renaissance de Titus à Baugé

L’Opéra de Baugé est né d’un pari un peu fou : celui de créer, en Maine-et-Loire, un festival dans la lignée de celui de Glyndebourne, dans le Sussex. Champêtre, propice à d’élégants pique-niques à l’entracte, joyeux et tous publics, le festival n’en est pas moins exigeant et porté par une vraie passion pour le genre.
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Biography

A perfect combination of long evenings, gastronomy, fine wines, flowers and gardens and the unique experience of music, drama, costume and setting that is opera. You will find top young soloists from around the world, some young stars of the future, an inspired orchestra, used to playing together, with a great ensemble. Franco-British chorus. The productions are thoughtful yet traditional, faithful to text and music and talented Musical Directors and music staff ensure an intrinsically musical performance. 

Arrive early to stake out your picnic spot, walk in the gardens or take an English cream tea. Make your way to the theatre for the first act. During the 90 minute interval you can dine in the orangerie restaurant, picnic on the parterre near the fountain, on the lawns, beside the moat, in the wilderness, under white willow trees bordering the river Altrée, beside the giant deer statue or under silver birches. After the performance you’re free to linger in the gardens as night falls and enjoy the magnificent night sky with its myriad stars. 

Afterwards why not repair to the local bar in the town centre where the music making, conversation and laughter continue into the night? The three weeks of the festival is super-concentrated and the atmosphere is unforgettable. Everyone who participates wants only one thing - to return next year.

Bauge is a beautiful, historic town that celebrated its 1,000th birthday 10 years ago.

Close to the A11, equidistant from Angers, Saumur, Tours and Le Mans. 

Accommodation includes relais-chateaux, hotels, gites and chambres d’hôte.

Flights Ryanair to Tours BA to Angers

For more information visit the Opera de Baugé site