Henry VIII

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When desire becomes an affair of state: La Monnaie brings its cycle devoted to the Tudor monarchs to a close with Henry VIII, a disgracefully neglected opera by Camille Saint-Saëns. This final homage to grand opéra presents the notorious English king at the moment when he seeks to have his marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled so he can marry Anne Boleyn – and is even willing to challenge the authority of the pope in order to get his way.


Excavating hidden treasures from the French repertoire has become a sacred mission for the director Olivier Py (Les Huguenots, Hamlet, and Dialogues des Carmélites). In his compatriot Alain Altinoglu, he has found the ideal partner to breathe new life, from the orchestra pit, into this unique score almost a century after its composer’s death.

Program and cast

Conductor: ALAIN ALTINOGLU
Director: OLIVIER PY
Set design & costumes: PIERRE-ANDRÉ WEITZ
Lighting: BERTRAND KILLY
Chorus master: EMMANUEL TRENQUE


Henry VIII: LAURENT NAOURI
Don Gomez de Féria: ED LYON
Le Cardinal Campeggio: PAUL GAY
Le Comte de Surrey: ENGUERRAND DE HYS
Le Duc de Norfolk: WERNER VAN MECHELEN
Cranmer: JÉRÔME VARNIER
Catherine d’Aragon: VÉRONIQUE GENS
Anne de Boleyn: NORA GUBISCH
Lady Clarence: LUDIVINE GOMBERT


La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
La Monnaie Choral Academy, led by Benoît Giaux


Production: DE MUNT / LA MONNAIE
In partnership with: PALAZZETTO BRU ZANE – CENTRE DE MUSIQUE ROMANTIQUE FRANÇAISE
With the support of: NATIONALE LOTERIJ / LOTERIE NATIONALE

La Monnaie

The Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie is an Opera house in Brussels, Belgium. Both of its names translate as Royal Theatre of the Mint.


Today the National Opera of Belgium, a federal institution, takes the name of the theatre in which it is housed. Therefore, la Monnaie or de Munt refers both to the structure as well as the opera company.


As Belgium's leading opera house it is one of the few cultural institutions which receives financial support from the federal government of Belgium. Other opera houses in Belgium, such as the Vlaamse Opera and the Opéra Royal de Wallonie, are funded by regional governments.

Johan Jacobs
© Lissyelle Laricchia
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