Interview
3:57 am
Fri May 2, 2014

The "Eyes" Have It In Florida Grand Opera's "Thais"

Early Christian asceticism and pagan decadence go head to head in Barbe and Doucet's staging of Massenet's 'Thais'
Early Christian asceticism and pagan decadence go head to head in Barbe and Doucet's staging of Massenet's 'Thais'
Credit Jeffrey Dunn

The names Barbe and Doucet might not be as widely known as Wagner, Puccini or Verdi -- but their influence is felt in opera houses worldwide.

French director Renaud Doucet and Canadian set and costume designer André Barbe are partners in life as well as work.  And this month, they're bringing their combined talents back to the Florida Grand Opera for Jules Massenet's "Thais."

In between rehearsals at the Adrienne Arsht Center, Barbe and Doucet spoke with WLRN about the use of psychology in opera staging, what to do about "Park and Bark" opera singers and why there are "eyes" all over the set of their "Thais."

Partners in work -- and life.  Set and costume designer Andre Barbe (l) and director Renaud Doucet (r).
Partners in work -- and life. Set and costume designer Andre Barbe (l) and director Renaud Doucet (r).

If You Go:

Florida Grand Opera’s production of Massenet’s "Thaïs" plays at the Arsht Center’s Ziff Ballet Opera House in Miami on May 3 to May 10, and at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale on May 15 and 17.