Michel Fau at George Dandin: laughter and complaints at the Athénée – News

The Théâtre de l’Athénée – Louis-Jouvet celebrates the 400th anniversary of Molière by hosting the joyous tour of George Dandin or the Confused Husband embodied and directed by Michel Fau. In complicity with the Ensemble Marguerite Louise directed by Gaétan Jarry, the public is fascinated by the collaboration between Lully and Molière, thus mixing denunciation and comedy:

After Versailles and Avignon (among others on this great tour), Michel Fau and an entire theatrical and musical company settle throughout the month of May at the Théâtre de l’Athénée with George Dandin, comedy written by Molière for “Le Grand diversion royal de Versailles” of July 18, 1668 on the occasion of the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. This tasty sentimental and social satire is illustrated by the verticality of the sets (Emmanuel Charles): a tree-tower representing Dandin’s house, as well as the hierarchies and social dominations on several floors. The tray recalls the cradle of Versailles with a blue background decorated with golden fleurs-de-lis, and plunges into the Baroque era with its subtle play of shadows and magical and nightmarish colors (the lighting by Joël Fabing stands out, below, as with sailing). The costumes designed by Christian Lacroix complete the dazzle of the spectators with the shepherd-singers in tall headdresses.

Molière and Michel Fau make George Dandin both laughable and endearing, comic and tragic. Misfortunes and injustices fall on this rich peasant who had the bad idea of ​​marrying a young noblewoman with his money in order to earn the (ridiculous) right to be called Monsieur de la Dandinière. The interpreter knows how to display a tasty gestural and facial expressiveness, at the service of astonishment and comedy thanks to the full support of his different voice registers. The charming Clitandre is played by Armel Cazedepats, expert in flattery with the elderly Baron de Sotenville (a nobleman more foolish than wise despite appearances personified by Philippe Girard) and the prudish Madame de Sotenville, the screeching Anne-Guersande Ledoux. Alka Balbir shamelessly turns Angélique away from the soulful young lady, but without unnecessary exaggeration. Finally (on the game side), the pair of servants are carried along by Nathalie Savary’s strong voice as Claudine, as well as Florent Hu’s hilarious, bumbling, animal servant Lubin.

To balance these very comedic moments of theater, Lully brings very moving musical interludes, in particular Cloris’s Plainte en Musique, captured and captivated by the soprano Cécile Achille, by the clarity and roundness of her voice, with her nuanced intentions. Caroline Arnaud offers more roundness but somewhat less presence in Climène, singing from the top of the tower a more lively air but unfortunately the distance and the lack of openness of the vowels make understanding difficult. The tenor David Ghilardi and the bass-baritone Virgile Ancely impress with the communion of their duos, sharing pronunciation and intonation with precision. The former lends its clear timbre to the character of Tircis, with pleasantly bright ensemble parts, while the latter gives the character of Philène a very round voice with its depth of register.

Arranged at the back of the stage, on both sides of the great tree-tower, with the harpsichord and wind instruments on one side and the strings on the other, the Ensemble Marguerite Louise must show constant attention to correct small discrepancies quickly. Wide and lively gestures of Gaétan Jarry, who leads from the harpsichord, the musicians manage to breathe a phrasing with intentions and at the service of the singers.

Poor George Dandin is cheated and unhappy, but thanks to Lully’s final interlude, he ends up taking solace in the heady pleasures of Bacchus (instead of the less palatable water he wanted to drown in). After happy rounds where love and wine are disputed, everyone ends up agreeing to celebrate the gathered pleasures. Pleasures shared with the spectators, who show their enthusiasm during the greetings.


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