The performance is based on the works by Molière and Lully, text by Zsófia Varga and Jakab Tarnóczi
Comedy with music in one part, in French and Hungarian with Hungarian and English surtitles
Jean-Baptiste Lully and Molière first presented this five-act comédie-ballet of theirs in 1670, at the Château de Chambord. This was a massive and lengthy event combining many art forms, with prose meeting music in a shared world of storytelling and timeless musical pleasure independent of medium. And all the while, viewers ate, drank and enjoyed the evening however they pleased in an incredible venue in the middle of a forest encompassing the vast hunting estate. This production attempts to evoke this same milieu, using Molière’s piece as a starting point and focusing on the event-like nature of the coexistence of singers, musicians, dancers and stage actors alongside the plot itself. In our story, the protagonist, who has christened himself “Jourdain” after the character in Molière’s play, moves into the Eiffel Art Studios building along with his family. Jourdain has run away from his flourishing grocery business in order to purchase the newly opened arts centre along with its entire staff. The relationship does not go smoothly: as no premieres are taking place, the orchestra must play only for him, and he orders the singers around like servants. Now all the generous patron has to do is figure out how to pretend to be an unsurpassably dedicated connoisseur and fan of classical music and how to interact comfortably with serious artists – as well as how to hide his stifled yawns during each of the lengthier arias. Instead of supporting him, his family gets in his way: his wife resents the change in her environment and takes every opportunity to laugh at Jourdain’s awkward attempts to fit in, and his daughter simply avoids him altogether. The primary objective of Jourdain’s efforts is to win the heart of the admired and mysterious Countess Péterfy. Asked to serve as Jourdain’s intermediate, his newfound friend Count Friedenthal arranges a date for them in the form of a concert in Jourdain’s home. The former businessman, however, does not suspect in the slightest that behind this generous assistance lie villainous aims, and as he attempts to meet both social expectations and those of his family, he fails to even notice that this feverish undertaking of his is gradually destroying his life.