Bastien & Bastienne

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The Independent Culture
The appropriation of Mozart's very early operas has been a healthy trend already this year, with stagings for Lucia Silla and Apollo et Hyacinthus. BAC'S new production of the singspiel Bastien and Bastienne (above), composed when Mozart was only 12, should follow suit. The piece was commissioned by none other than Franz Anton Mesmer, as part of an entertainment for his circle of enlightened intimates. Further Enlightenment comes from the fact that the libretto is an adaptation of one, by philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Plus, uncannily, the theme of the little Overture is identical to that of the first movement of Beethoven's Eroica. Award- winning director Maggie Forsyth produces the piece as the culmination of an intensive four-day "open process', working with the cast of three, and with a "unique twist" promised as well

Battersea Arts Centre, London SW11 (0171-223 2223), 29 Aug, 7.45pm; 30 Aug, 6pm

Duncan Hadfield