Beatrice and Benedict – Berlioz

‘ENO has a new translation by Amanda Holden, wittiest and most adroit of contemporary practitioners of this difficult craft.’
Daily Telegraph

This translation of the lyrics of Berlioz’s Shakespearean opéra comique was commissioned by English National Opera for their production in 1990; it was directed by Tim Albery and conducted by Mark Elder. The title roles were sung by the husband-and-wife team of Ann Murray & Philip Langridge.

Finale – Scherzo-Duettino

BENEDICT This love is like a flame…

BEATRICE Love is just an illusion…

BENEDICT A firefly, where it comes from no-one knows…

BOTH … it shines and disappears

BEATRICE … and leaves us in confusion.

BENEDICT It makes a fool run mad, then off it goes.

BOTH The madness of love makes wisdom seem foolish,
So we’ll be in love whatever the world says.
Just for once we’ll be mad.
We’re in love.
My pride is now resigned to this dreadful disaster!
Knowing it won’t last, let us now take hands.
Yes, just for today, a truce everlasting.

From to-morrow war will begin… again.