“With my experience of the scene, I will know how to do it,” proclaims Tosca to his beloved, the painter Cavaradossi at the end of act III. Agnès Jaoui has she done the same thinking? The actress and director crowned the Caesars – who also sings in a vocal ensemble – has set the stage for the first time in his career, a lyrical, at the invitation of the festival Opera in the open air. And what a work!
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Since June, the most successful popular Puccini sailed between prestigious venues: the castle of Vincennes, the château de Sceaux, domaine national de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. And ends his tour – up to 8 September – the Invalid. In the pit, the conductor Yannis Pouspourikas directs the Music Booking Orchestra. The long shadows of the singers (Karine Babajanyan in Tosca, Paolo Scariano in Cavaradossi, Jean-Luc Ballestra as Scarpia) are drawn on the walls of the courtyard. Jean-Yves Le Drian, to great fanfare of flashing lights, and Arnaud Montebourg, accompanied by his friend, came to applaud them.
Sober, the decor on two levels with columns pretty much gives the illusion of lean against the main body of the house of the court of honor. But the real originality (incongruity) introduced by Agnès Jaoui consists of the installation of a large screen above the stage. It is used to project views from the imaginary world of a character, to scroll through the paintings of the master of the Italian Renaissance and, especially, to highlight or prolong the actions of the characters. Thus we see Tosca run around in a garden after having left the scene and discovered the supposed infidelity of his companion.
One way to get Agnès Jaoui to overcome any of the difficulties of understanding the plot. And to make the show more visible to the spectators placed far away from the stage. “It is a good idea, it is more immersed in the story,” confirms a spectator neophyte. “Dipped” is the term, until exhaustion. Because the screen ends up giving the impression of crushing the scene. When Tosca kills the cruel Scarpia, a large image of a knife is projected above it.
When the heroine cries the death of his love, a painter, a video of her, in tears, arms raised to the sky, the overhangs. In addition to being excessive, and surprisingly poorly shot, way movie amateur marriage, the scenes registered in advance are offset total with the action, accentuating the ridiculous. All the more so that they alternate, in a curious pas de deux, with paintings of the Renaissance..
“there is a lack of aesthetic in the decor,” adds a spectator accustomed to this festival, would have liked more of the plume in the scene. It’s a shame because, in the direction of the actors, Agnès Jaoui had not done very well: without gestures excessive, coolly dramatic, they revolve with ease on the stage.
This Tosca, made more human, less tragic, revives the strength of the story. The jealousy of the heroine is palpable, as are the desires cruel and lustful baron Scarpia, played with gusto by the baritone Jean-Luc Ballestra. But this is not enough to save the scenography of Agnès Jaoui who would have won to be inspired by the video installation in Tosca by Christophe Honoré, in Aix-en-Provence this summer.