Friday, March 28, 2014

Platée Replayed

Baroque Hijinks and a Karl Lagerfeld Doppelgänger in a Couture Comic Opera Revival

First performed in Versailles in 1745, today's adaption of Jean-Philippe Rameau's Platée by Robert Carsen sees fashion industry figureheads playfully transfigured into haughty gods, with Olympus reimagined as Chanel’s headquarters. “Karl Lagerfeld is an absolutely suitable Jupiter,” says Felipe Sanguinetti, the filmmaker behind this backstage view of Carsen’s riotous production, which also features glimpses of Anna Wintour and Hamish Bowles doubles. On stage Lagerfeld as Jupiter, played by Edwin Crossley-Mercer, runs into domestic difficulty at the hands of his jealous wife Juno, a tweed-clad Coco Chanel. The king of the gods goes on to trick Platée—an overweight fashionista—into a doomed romance. Lady Gaga even puts in an appearance as ‘La Folie’ [Madness]. “Each opera I film or photograph by Robert’s side is a masterclass in how to take a story that was imagined in the mind and turn it into a tangible reality,” says Sanguinetti.

Platée at Opera Comique, Paris runs to March 30; a concert version at Lincoln Center, New York launches April 2. -via

Platée Replayed on

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