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A music-theatre improvisation on Molière´s comedy SCAPIN´S DECEITS

The performance is set in a crazy atmosphere: three actors first appear as old men in masks, then as young lovers in wigs or sly butlers. The settings consist of three sticks and a chest from which emerge a thousand and one ideas, a thousand and one deceits that, within the blink of an eye, transpose the story from the world of a floating boat into that of surrealist characters. Each deceit is an improvisa-tion in which the actors´ movement merges with the musicians´ rhythm. The mu-sicians´ instruments set the tempo for the swordsmen’s pace, the trembling of the lovers´ hearts, and the straining of the old men´s nerves. In this baroque world, humorous at certain moments, poetic at other, a whole range of visions arises. The beauty of gestures and expressions is invigorated by the glaze of candles.

The combination of Molière’s comedy and the music by Lully and Charpentier, two ingenious rival musicians with whom Molière has created the best comédie-ballets of the “great century”, provides for the historical character of actors´ and musicians´ improvisations. In Molière´s comedies the music element was, in fact, crucial: musicians were stable members of his theatre company and the two pro-fessions, that of an actor and that of a musician, merged. A similar line is fol-lowed in this piece.

The fusion of the professional and the spontaneous, the richly inventive and the erudite, not only points to the timelessness of Molière´s heritage but it also results in a range of interesting moments. The musicians and the actors inspire mutually, comical sketches motivate music improvisations and musical ideas provoke actors to action. A large part of the music production is based on the so called “basso ostinato” or on passacaille and chaconne in modified forms including an irreplaceable personal input from the performer.

The performance was successfully played at Théâtre Ranelagh in Paris, ABC Theatre in Prague and on Festival Baroque de Pon-toise and Scènes Baroques in Monts in 2008.



Acting, singing, dancing and improvising:
Olivier Martin-Salvan
Bastien Ossart
Julien Cigana

Jana Semerádová – flutes
Alena Honigová – harpsichord
Stano Palúch – violin

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