He may have whittled things down to four characters and kept it short but Tony Fabre's Histoire d'eux, inspired by the Greek myth of Dido and Aeneas has much to admire. It's a beautifully played out picture of the couple. a couple in love. In just 18 minutes we see them brought together, fall in love, dance adoringly, then part with tragic consequences.
The sound of waves at the beginning, and that then overlay some of Purcell's score, not only hint at Aeneas' shipwreck but also presage the tragedy that awaits. As the lead couple, Julien Favreau and Elisabet Ros combine strength with sensitivity. Brought together by two messengers, Iker Murillo Badiola and Vitali Safronkine, at first stand and look. They are not so much cold as unsure.
Those messengers can be seen as fates, or perhaps as the witches who plot Dido's downfall. Having introduced the couple and tempted them with each other's bodies, they dance with an impish glee.
Histoire d'eux was Fabre's last work, not premiered until two months after his death in December 2013 following a severe illness. It is a fine memorial.