Gothic Opera – Le Loup-Garou

From 27th October to 1st November, I will perform in Gothic Opera’s production of Le Loup Garou. I will be performing the role of Catherine, a young woman who yearns for the love of Bertrand, a gentleman who is unfortunately engaged to her cousin. As this opera is rarely staged and the love dynamic is full of knots and twists, I thought I would share a detailed synopsis with you.


Our story takes place in a village in Burgundy, France. In a drawing room, four sisters are making alterations to a wedding dress, which belongs to their sister Alice. Raimbaud, their father, has arranged for Alice to be married to Bertrand. Raimbaud explains that the couple does not need to visit Count Alberic, the local lord, to ask permission to be wed because the count is dead. Everyone is happy except for Alice, who seems a little trepidatious.

The cheerful atmosphere sadly does not last for long. Moments later, their cousin Catherine (Me) enters and informs her family that a wolf has been sighted in the neighbouring village. The local lords have issued an award of 200 Carolus to the brave captor who slays the wolf and brings back its head. Bertrand tells Raimbaurd that he has already seen the wolf and will try to kill the beast.

After the commotion, Catherine spots Alice worrying and attempts to soothe her. Catherine assumes that Alice is concerned for Bertrand’s safety, but Alice reveals that she pines for another man, a mysterious stranger who saved her from drowning two months ago. She explains that the pair promised to meet again at the river bank. Alice regularly returned. However, he never came. Upon hearing this, Catherine hopes that the couple will reunite and that Alice will renounce her engagement, allowing Catherine to marry Bertrand.

Later the guests arrive for the engagement meal. Whilst the family is preparing, they realise 13 people will attend their dinner. Bertrand is immediately spooked and explains that he will not attend, as he is superstitious and believes that having 13 people around a table is bad luck and may lead to a fatal event. Raimbaud sends Catherine to find a suitable guest to join the party. Bertrand notices that Alice is distressed and seeks to comfort her. She admits that she does not love him, and to her surprise, Bertrand reveals that he is not shocked as he oversaw her rendezvous with the mysterious gentlemen. However, he explains that the gentleman is not a suitable match, as he saw him transform into a beast under the full moon. Bertrand warns Alice that the gentleman is, in fact, a werewolf and vows to kill the monster. Alice refuses to believe him, but he threatens to reveal the truth about her secret lover to the whole village if she breaks off their engagement.

Catherine returns with a 14th dinner guest, a gentleman named Hubert. Alice is shocked as she recognises him as her mysterious saviour. Raimbaurd is also stunned as he recognises Hubert as Count Alberic. During the meal, Hubert learns that Alice is to marry Bertrand. He admits that he also wants to marry Alice and asks the father if he would let Alice choose her own suitor. Raimbaurd knowing Hubert’s true identity and standing within society, happily consents to the proposition. However, Alice denies Hubert’s proposal for fear of Bertrand’s threat.

Catherine is deeply hurt and cannot understand why her cousin would not marry the man she loves and selfishly pick the gentlemen she adores. Feeling guilty for inviting Hubert to the meal, she runs after him to apologise. During their conversation, Hubert thanks Catherine for comforting him and asks her if she would like to marry him. Catherine is confused but agrees to the proposal, which Raimbaurd supports. They decide to get married tonight in the clearing.

Next, Bertrand reveals to Catherine that he is troubled and aware that Alice has only agreed to marry him out of fear. He also admits that he does not love Alice and that he loves her, Catherine. However, he explains that he could never ask for her hand in marriage because she was born on Friday, 13th March 1813. Due to his superstitious inclinations, he is certain that one of them would be dead before the wedding is over. Catherine explains that his superstitions are unnecessary as she will marry Hubert that evening. Bertrand objects to the marriage and explains that she can not marry him as he is a werewolf. He agrees to go to the wedding in her place to slay the beast.

Later that evening, Catherine informs Alice of their plan. Desperate to save Hubert, Alice runs to the forest clearing hoping to reach him before Bertrand. Hubert reveals that he only ever loved her and asked for Catherine’s hand in marriage to enrage Bertrand and bring on his own death. He confirms that he is a werewolf. However, Alice reveals that she loves him anyway. The full moon appears, but Hubert does not transform. True love has broken his curse, and the four young people can marry their destined partners. Hooray!

38 thoughts on “Gothic Opera – Le Loup-Garou

  1. Oh, wow. Now that’s a story for you.
    It’s so convoluted I couldn’t decide who I was rooting for – thankfully you explained it ended well. Well done, Charlotte. I know you will be wonderful!

    1. Hello Sheila,
      I am so glad that you could follow my synopsis. As you say, it is quite a complex story. I had to draw diagrams to help me work out who loves who at key points. Thank you for your support and for wishing me well in this production.
      Best Wishes,

  2. This sounds amazing, Charlotte, I would love to attend! It’s a bit too far away though. 😜 I love the first photo with London Bridge behind you, and the Thames looks like the tide is in. You look wonderful! Have a great new week, Charlotte. ☺️🇬🇧❤️

    1. Hello John,
      Thank you for your support from across the ocean. Perhaps one day, I will perform closer to your neck of the woods. This photo was taken on an enjoyable day, after a refreshing work along the Thames with George. Glad you like this captured moment.
      Best Wishes,

    1. Hello Annette,

      Thank you for joining me on this spooky quest. The costume designer has been experimenting with how she will transform the tenor into a Werewolf. There has been talk of a cloak with a hood decorated with sharp teeth along the edge, fur and ears. Another option will be to adapt a top hat. I’ll keep you posted.

      Best Wishes,

    1. Hello Timothy,

      You are right – It is a great deal of fun to perform. We are staging the opera out of order, so our director regularly asks us, “Who is aware that Hubert is a werewolf at this given moment?” and “Who is engaged to whom in this scene?” It helps to keep you grounded and keep the plot clear.

      Best Wishes,

  3. That has just been performed in the US by Opera Southwest in Albuquerque, NM, in what they billed as “the first full production . . . since the 19th century.” It is a bit of a convoluted plot! But I imagine lots of fun to sing.

    1. Hello Peter,

      How fantastic that is has just been performed by Opera Southwest! Were you able to watch their production? Perhaps it is a sign of more performances to come. I think it is a very charming opera and, as you correctly predicted, very enjoyable to sing. There are many ensemble scenes, which give me plenty of opportunities to bounce off other people’s energy.

      Best Wishes,

    1. Hello Lawrence,

      Thank you for your good luck wishes. We had our first costume fitting yesterday and I love how it helps me to imagine the transformation into Catherine. Brings on the perfomances.

      Best Wishes,

    1. Hello Don,

      What a fantastic comment! I haven’t seen any silver bullets yet on our props table, but perhaps it is a matter of time. Fingers crossed I will sleep easy and not let my imagination run away with me.

      Best Wishes,

    1. Hello Shehanne,

      Thank you for celebrating this opportunity with me.

      Best Wishes,

    1. Hello Brian,

      Fingers crossed the power of love can work in our reality too! I am very busy, but I love working at this speed. We are rehearing in a Rehearsal Studio owned by a charity that promotes culture, arts and community inclusion. It is a vibrant and creative atmostphere to work in.

      Best Wishes,

      1. C’est une belle langue. For different things than English or German. Not sure how to say that, (adding Italian), each of those languages not only has a particular “sound”, different rhythms and accents. But each one also has its proper “metric”. (There must be a technical term.) French words are often much longer than English words. Different “metric”. And French always accentuates the last syllable of the word. Spanish has three accents/stresses: grave, esdrújulo and agudo (last syllable). French only has “agudo” hence its flat… tone? do you see what I mean? (Am I making sense?)

    1. Hello Pascal,

      It has been a real delight to work on this show. Not often do you get to think about supernatural characters that scare the audience in opera. Two of the creative directors are from France and have been very helpful providing pronunciation tips and translation. I think you would really love the shows.

      Best Wishes,

  4. Dear Charlotte, it was brought to our attention, that bystanders filming our Werewolf’s Vitamińs infomercial with us caught you iń some off-camera momeńts. You were sayińg how you were bigger thań the London tube ańd twice as tall as the Lońdoń Bridge. After dońńińg our werewolf mask you proceeded to say “eat our vitamins, and you’ll be able to eat up all the little people iń your life too, just like all those little people behind me.” Weirdly, this has become a hot, trendińg YouTube post. Rest assured we have the rights, and you will be receivińg residuals iń accordańce with our agreemeńt. Iń regards to your query as to whether you could have a matchińg werewolf outfit for your husbańd, we are not sure how this will dovetail with our “good girl gońe werewolf campaign.” So, for now, the answer is uńfortuńately, ńo. Thań you, Max Versteheń, CEO, Werewolf Vitamińs.

    1. Hello Max Versten, CEO of Werewolf Vitamins,

      Thank you for considering my request for a werewolf costume for my husband – I so want to feel connected to him and share my transformation with him when the full moon strikes. But alas, it can’t be so … perhaps the vitamins will help.

      Thank you for your fun comment and for peaking my imagination.

      Best Wishes,

  5. That’s really a brilliant storyline! Who were the composer and librettist, Charlotte? The role sounds perfect for you – it sounds like Catherine is sweet but determined at the same time, and that her family is very important to her, just like you. And sounds like you’ll have to act a wide range of emotions as well, always a challenge – and sing at the same time, of course. But you’ll be brilliant, I know.

    Best regards,


    1. Hello Cate,

      The composer is Louise Bertin and the Libretto was written by Eugène Scribe and E. Mazares. The spoken dialogue has been adapted by Eleanor Burke, who is directing the production. I love your summarisation of Catherine’s qualities. You are quite right, she explores a wide range of emotions and due to her strength of character and hopefulness for a brighter future she develops as a person during the action. If you are able to watch a performance, do let me know. It would be lovely to see you again to catch up.

      Best Wishes,

  6. Wow, I adore the story!
    You have a major role. I am quite excited for you.
    What a grand opera you are part of.
    Resa xx
    I’m catching up here today.
    Will catch you up on the Art Gown in the next comment on the previous post.

    1. Hi Resa

      It has been great fun rehearsing and I can’t wait to start performing the role 🙂

      Thanks for the link and cudos to you for having the interview published, I loved the images and enjoyed reading the article.

      Catch up soon.

      Best wishes

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