From Elizabeth and Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, to Hermione and Ron in the Harry Potter series, the age-old premise of verbal sparring to mask true feelings of love or passion is employed to magnificent effect in Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict. Berlioz selected the sunniest and funniest elements of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and set them to ravishing music to create this witty love-hate duel. The opera’s overture explodes with a buoyant sense of fun and elegant wit and there are several splendid numbers for the female characters, especially the sublime Act I duet-nocturne, described by one critic as a ‘marvel of indescribable lyrical beauty’. Conducted by Robin Ticciati and seen through the unique vision of director Laurent Pelly, Berlioz’s comic gem makes its long-awaited Glyndebourne premiere in Festival 2016. With the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Glyndebourne Chorus. Sung in French with English subtitles.