“Botstein, and his annual opera production at Bard, seem more invaluable by the year.”—New York Times
“An excellent production by Jean-Romain Vesperini that presents the action lucidly and engrossingly.”—Financial Times
Henri VIII is French grand opera at its most magnificent. In this love triangle for the ages, an infamous Tudor king is determined to divorce Catherine of Aragon in favor of the ambitious, beautiful Anne Boleyn. Saint-Saëns’s exquisite vocal passages and rich orchestration bring this rarely performed masterpiece to vivid life in this “grand and compelling” (New York Times) new production.
Sung in French with English supertitles.
This production has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts and Villa Albertine.
Composer Camille Saint-Saëns
Libretto Léonce Détroyat and Paul-Armand Silvestre
Sung in French with English supertitles
American Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Leon Botstein, Music Director
Bard Festival Chorale
Chorus Master James Bagwell
Direction Jean-Romain Vesperini
Scenic Design Bruno de Lavenère
Costume Design Alain Blanchot
Lighting Design Christophe Chaupin
Video Projection Design Studio AE (Étienne Guiol with Thomas Ocampo)
Hair/Makeup Design Anika Seitu
INTRODUCTION BY MAESTRO Leon Botstein
INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR JEAN-ROMAIN VESPERINI
The below photos were taken in the spring of 2023 by Maria Baranova, and feature Alfred Walker.
Behind the Scenes
BRUNO DE LAVENÈRE
Footage: Aya Rebai HRA ’24
Editing: Garrett Sager HRA ’23
Music: (1) excerpt from “Chicago” from Illinois (2023 Bard SummerScape); (2) excerpt from Camille Saint-Saëns’s Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 78 “Organ,” performed by the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein (released 2012)
Footage: Alain Blanchot
Music: excerpt from Camille Saint-Saëns’s Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 78 “Organ,” performed by the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein (released 2012)