Theatre, Ballet and Opera in the Press.
1945 “Théâtre de la Mode”Bérard-Kochno, scenery for Balenciaga, Nina Ricci, Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, London, Leeds, Barcelona, Stockholm, Copenhagen.
The youngest of this brilliant group of artists is only twenty. But he has marked personality and taste. He is assured of a brilliant future. He has always loved beauty and art. Mathematics classes were simply an occasion for him to fill his notebooks with fabulous palaces and other battle-scenes. At home, he constructed entire towns in cardboard and made complete films, scenes from which he projected in the little theatre he made. To-day, he dreams of a Galerie Fantastique in which to show all the wonders of the world.
He is in the tradition of the makers of towns and landscapes. Like them, he expresses pomp and splendour midway between classicism and baroque art. As his favourite period extends from the middle of the 16th to the beginning of the 18th century, he is a master at mingling columns with rococo effects. At Versailles, he would have rivalled Bérain in designing scenery for ballets in which the king appeared. His magic is in the grand manner, and his architecture imaginative. He is at work on the illustrations for the luxury editions of three of Pierre Corneille’s tragedies, and dreams of staging Shakespeare. It is not surprising that Cocteau encourages such ambitions –for they are assuredly those of a master– and watches the growth of such wonderful talent.
Catalogue for the Théâtre de la Mode in USA - 1946
1946 “Concerts de Danses”Mozartiana, Marcel Berger Roland Petit, scenery and costumes, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.
“ Everything concurs for the great success of this ballet : the sumptuous scenery and the costumes (very much like 18th century etchings) by André Beaurepaire, the living choreography of Marcel Berger and dancers including the stars Solange Schwarz and Algarov.”
La Fraternité, 14 March 1946
“André Beaurepaire brilliantly accomplished a difficult piece accumulating a tasteful collection of magnificent treasures. » André Warnod Le Figaro, 7 March 1946
Melle Solange Schwarz is splendid, her variations are enchanting for their precision and grace. And M. Algarov is also excellent. M. André Beaurepaire’s scenery spiritually enriches the baroque. It is a great success.
R. D, Le Monde, 7 March 1946
1947 “L’Aigle à Deux Têtes”Jean Cocteau, scenery, costumes Christian Bérard, Théâtre Hébertot.
“After playing in Brussels and Lyon, “l’Aigle à deux Têtes” is finally now playing at the Théâtre Hébertot. The public will offer a long ovation for the brilliant actress Edwige Feuillère, the true Queen of Theatre in the legend’s sumptuous scenery created by André Beaurepaire for this romantic drama, which is said to be inspired by the fate of Elisabeth of Austria.” Claude Cézan, Revue de l’Alliance Française 26, February 1947
“Here, the show is not incomparable to the audience : this is thanks to the sumptuous and rare grace of Mr. André Beaurepaire, painter of the scenery, and of Mr. Bérard, responsible for costumes.” Presse, Tel quel, 7 January 1947
“Beaurepaire’s scenery involves many characters : on the one hand a curious “skeletal” aspect that cleverly outlines the text.” Thierry Maulnier, Journal, 7 January 1947
Edwige Feuillère confers an elegant, yet noble and exalted character upon the queen. It is truly one of our greatest artists. Jean Marais suffers a bit from such a partner, but he is excellent in the scenes of passion, love and death. André Beaurepaire’s scenery contributed to making this show one of the most beautiful of the theatre season.
L’Yonne Républicaine, 13 mars 1947
“Since no one has the right to speak to the queen without her permission, she does most of the talking – almost twenty thousand words of it in Act 1 alone, a tour de force staggeringly carried off by the beautiful and excellent actress, Edwige Feuillère. Jean Marais makes a handsome anarchist in Lederhosen. Georges Auric contributed a royal march, and André Beaurepaire, the Cocteau group’s favorite new designer, devised the crazed complexities, of the Gothic sets. Only Cocteau would have the impertinence to toss a play about Bavarian royalty in the face of a Paris so-recently occupied by Germans.” New Yorker, New York, 25 January 1947
1948 “Fête Galante”Mme Claude Arrieu, Gsovsky, scenery and costumes, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.
“Boris Kocho’s enjoyable entertainment, with spirited music by Mme Claude Arrieu sees Irène Skorik and Youri Algarov dance in a series of spiritual and disconnected variations in a setting by Beaurepaire.”
Journal de Genève, 28 June 1948
The Ballets des Champs Elysées, at the Princes Theatre last night, introduce a new work “Fête Galante” by Boris Kochno. André Beaurepaire has dressed it delightfully. Manchester Guardian, 4 September 1948, Photo
1949 “Haute Surveillance” Jean Genet, Marchat, Robert Hossein, scenery and costumes, Théâtre des Mathurins.
“André Beaurepaire’s costumes are very meaningful and successfully contribute to the undoubtedly necessary inconvenience that accompanies the performance of “Haute Surveillance.”” Jacques Lemarchand, Combat, 4 March 1949
“In my ten years as a director, few performances have offered me as much satisfaction as “Haute Surveillance”. The extraordinary quality of the play, the beauty of the text, its innovation, its strength eluded the usual laws of the stage. I was lucky enough to meet a quartet of young actors who were passionate about their work : Tony Taffin, Jean-Marc Lambert, Robert Hossein and Claude Lambert. Lucky also to have discovered in André Beaurepaire the inspired set designer I needed.”
Jean Marchat , L’Opinion publique, 23 March 1949
“For Jean Genet’s final play, “Haute Surveillance”, Beaurepaire sets the action in a décor that is dark and austerely beautiful.” Robert Kempf, Académie française.
“Served by excellent acting and the beautiful décor by André Beaurepaire, “Haute Surveillance” loses the violence offered on stage when it is read.” Daniel Secret, Plaisir de France, June 1949 “The décor, heavy, inexorable and beautiful, is signed by André Beaurepaire.” Guy Verdot, Franc-Tireur, 4 March 1949
1949 “Léocadia” Anouilh, Cocteau, Marais, Yvonne de Bray, scenery, Cairo Royal Opera Theatre.
“The comedy, in five scenes, must be quick paced and it was. Like an original and authoritarian old duchess, Yvonne de Bray holds the baton and leads the farandole. André Beaurepaire’s sets are perfect.”
Claude de Rives , Journal d’Egypte, Le Caire, 26 March 1949
1953 “Ciné-Bijou”Pierre Petit, Roland Petit, Jean Pierre Grédy, scenery, Théâtre de l’Empire.
“It is clear that “Ciné-Bijou”, is more of an American musical comedy than a ballet. I liked its satirical painting, the surprising scenery of André Beaurepaire and the anonymous silhouettes of a contemporary expressionism.”
Angéli, Echo d’Alger, 16 November 1953
“Roland Petit and Colette Marchand danced together for “Ciné-Bijou”, a burlesque parody of a gangster film that keeps up a hellish rhythm, and that André Beaurepaire composed of ingenious décor full of mischief and taste.” André Warnod, Le Figaro, 20 March 1953
“André Beaurepaire was in charge of illustrating “Ciné-Bijou”. He did this happily and his scene of skyscrapers in black and white could not be more suggestive.” André Boll, Plaisir de France, May 1953
“Ciné Bijou is excellently designed by André Beaurepaire, whose black and white skyscrapers and the rococo bedroom of the vamp are admirable.” Marie Françoise Christout, Dance and Dancers, London, May 1953
“Colette Marchand sings a song that is amusing even if one does not understand French and Beaurepaire’s scenery evoking New York could not be more convincing.” Marie Françoise Christout, Dance and Dancers, London, May 1953
“In Jean-Pierre Gredy’s Ciné-Bijou, the scenario replaces the usual argument with rapid sequences, following a very American rhythm set to music by Pierre Petit, with sensational scenery by Beaurepaire and technicolor use of lighting.” Jotterant, Gazette de Lausanne, 5 April 1953
1953 “La Belle Endormie” Henri Dutilleux, Roland Petit, Leslie Caron, scenery and costumes, London.
“The ballet, written by Roland Petit and Alfred Adam especially for Leslie Caron, is set amongst André Beaurepaire’s very beautiful scenery.” L’Espoir Nice, 15 December 1953
“Yesterday at the Opéra de Monte Carlo, Leslie Caron was the acrobat in Roland Petit’s latest ballet, in the sumptuous scenery by André Beaurepaire.”
André Xavier, L’Espoir Nice, 26 December 1953
1955 “La Cenerentola”Prokofiev, Alfredo Rodriguez, Violette Verdy, scenery and costumes, La Scala in Milan.
“Beaurepaire just signed the scenery and 140 costumes for the ballet “Cendrillon” by Prokofiev that Milan’s La Scala added to its repertoire. This ballet, which lasts two and a half hours, was a veritable triumph for Beaurepaire, for the Choreographer Alfredo Rodriguez, and for Violette Verdy, the prima ballerina who débuted with Roland Petit.”
Prestige Français, March 1956
1956 “La Nuit” Léo Ferré, Roland Petit, scenery, Théâtre de Paris.
“ ‘La Nuit’, the ballet by Madeleine and Léo Ferré, that the handsome, intelligent décor by Beaurepaire and the scenography manage to save at times….”
François Guillot de Rode, Le Figaro Littéraire, 6 October 1956
1963 “Les Oiseaux Rares” René Lhoste, Guy Bertil, Armande Navarre, scenery, Théâtre Montparnasse.
“André Beaurepaire’s extravagant décor glorifies Art Nouveau and Belle Epoque painting, a real success.”
Patrick Thévenon, L’intransigeant le 23 April 1963
1964 “Tête de Rechange” Jean-Victor Pellerin, Jean Le Poulain, scenery and costumes, Bouffes Parisiens.
“The three best sketches are those of the centenarian played delightfully by the inimitable Paul Demange ; that of marriage, denser and more cruelly authentic than it appears at first, that takes place in an attractive and savoury décor of “Noces et Banquets” masterfully painted by Beaurepaire ; finally that of the bourgeoisies’ gold, that is connected to the scène de revue, but don’t we also find this direction in much contemporary theatre.”
Jean Jacques Gautier, Le Figaro, 14-15 March 1964
1978 “La Dame de Pique” Tchaïkovski, Roland Petit, Baryschnikov, scenery, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.
“…Here, for La Dame de Pique, Beaurepaire suddenly turned away from all that until now had been his preferred environment. He also freed himself of the great constructions evoked by Piranese as well as from the gothic and romantic universe that he could skilfully recreate. We are on the banks of the Néva. In a whirl of columns, André Beaurepaire delivers us a baroque palace dominated by the whirlwind of gambling. There is nothing to explain. I repeat : he paints as one dreams and his scenery is conceived and passes by like clouds in the sky.”
Edmonde Charles-Roux, Académie Goncourt, programme for the performance 1978
“La Dame de Pique as it was conceived by Roland Petit, with a few liberties taken with respect to the original story, presents itself as a perfectly balanced ballet with a solid framework, alive, in a décor by André Beaurepaire. Tasteful throughout, at no moment does its interest weaken. René Sirvin, L’Aurore, 19 October 1978
“As décor, André Beaurepaire paints a fine backdrop where giant cards and the columns of a palace in Saint Petersburg suddenly collapse together.” Pierre Lartigue, L’Humanité, 20 October 1978
“André Beaurepaire painted a very beautiful décor in cameos, very dreamy characters, against which Jacques Schmidt’s costumes stand out, baroque and sumptuous…” Le Méridional, November 1978
“Baryschnikov, Jacqueline Rayet and Evelyne Desutter will be the three leads in the Ballet de Marseille, with décor painted by André Beaurepaire, evoking a castle of cards and the risky atmosphere of the gambling den.”
François de Santerre, Le Monde, October 1978
“Beaurepaire’s very sober décor is appropriate for this psychodrama in which each character is observed with the acuity of an entomologist. Baryschnikov’s presence acts as a reactor throughout the ballet, which is bathed in a very 19th-century Russian atmosphere. Baryschnikov does not play Hermann, he is Hermann.”
Gilberte Cournand, Le Parisien, 19 Octobre 1978
1989 “La Machine Infernale”Jean Cocteau, Jean Marais, scenery and costumes, Espace Cardin.
“You had the formidable privilege of succeeding Christian Bérard, your work looked like a great success to me. In 1954, Jean Cocteau wrote about Bérard : ”The devices and costumes in La machine infernale, remain the masterpiece of theatre decoration by their simplicity”. As much may be said for the décor and costumes with their sumptuous simplicity that you just realized for this revival. You embody the spirit of Cocteau so well when it comes to performances that you seem to me to be the perfect set designer for any future revival of his theatre productions.”
Pierre Chanel, director of the Cahiers Jean Cocteau by Gallimard, 11 November 1989
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