by Mike Telin & Daniel Hathaway
Directed by David Bamberger, CIM Opera Theater will present four performances of Hector Berlioz’s comic opera Béatrice et Bénédict in Kulas Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music beginning on Wednesday, February 24 at 7:30 pm and continuing through Saturday, February 27. An adaptation of William Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing, Berlioz conceived the piece as early as 1833, but completed it only in 1862 at the behest of a casino owner in Baden-Baden, Germany, where it was first performed at the Theater der Stadt in August of that year.
“It’s not performed that often, and most people only know it from the overture, which is such a great piece in itself,” conductor Harry Davidson said in a telephone conversation. “For the opera, Berlioz took out all the tragic elements that appear in the play — Héro being accused of adultery and her father disowning her — none of that is there. But it’s very stageworthy and the music is really quite delightful and charming.” [Read more…]