For his inaugural season as Artistic Director of the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Michael Langham commissioned a new translation of Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac from Burgess. Burgess began work on the translation in early 1970 and, by the final weeks of rehearsal in summer 1971, he had also composed incidental music for the play, which opened on 22 July 1971.
Burgess's adaptation was revived by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1985 with Derek Jacobi as Cyrano, and again in 1998 by Antony Sher and Gregory Doran.
In 1990 the first theatrical film version of Rostand's original play in colour was released, adapted by Jean-Claude Carrière and Jean-Paul Rappeneau and starring Gérard Depardieu, Anne Brochet and Vincent Pérez. (Rappeneau also directed the film.) The film was made in French, with subtitles. The English-language subtitles use Burgess's translation of the text.
See also AB/ARCH/A/CYR, Cyrano, the musical.
This series contains drafts of Burgess's translation and adaptation of Rostand's play, dated 1970-1971 and 1983; two galley proofs for the 1971 edition of Burgess's text, published by Alfred A. Knopf; a copy of Jean-Paul Rappeneau and Jean-Claude Carriere's adaptation of the play, dated 1989; draft subtitles (by Burgess) for the 1990 film of Cyrano de Bergerac, directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau; and a theatre programme for the 1998 production of the play by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Source: "A Clockwork Counterpoint: the Music and Literature of Anthony Burgess" by Paul Phillips (Manchester University Press, 2010)