Premier post post-covid, Das Lied von der Erde, Ludwigshafen, Ewig…

Que dire, ce satané virus a sérieusement abimé la seconde partie de la saison 19-20. La grève qui a touché la France en décembre dernier était déjà triste, mais voir se rajouter le covid en plus…… Certes, il y a eu des beaux moments entre ces deux misères: de beaux spectacles à Bolzano, mais la série de Casse-Noisettes qui débutait fin février à l’opéra de Zurich a vite été entamée: elle n’aura eu que trois petites représentations…. Le “Voyage vers l’espoir” de Christian Jost au Grand Théâtre de Genève devra revoyager et être reprogrammé ultérieurement….

Mais heureusement on commence à voir la lumière au bout du tunnel! J’ai eu le plaisir de diriger le 9 septembre. Oui, diriger, rediriger, quel plaisir, quel luxe même. Ludwigshafen, Staatphilharmonie, un régal. Un double cadeau: “Das lied von der Erde”, Mahler, est déjà un cadeau magnifique en soi, ewig…….. Et le fait de découvrir ce merveilleux orchestre! Merci Monsieur l’intendant, merci cher Beat pour cette grande confiance. Madame Lichtenberg, Monsieur Romei, chers musiciens tellement expressifs et concentrés, un grand bravo. Cher public qui nous avez fait salle comble, merci vous tous. Voici ici le lien vers la critique du concert:

Ludwigshafen, Friedenskirche, Das Lied von der Erde – Gustav Mahler, IOCO Kritik, 12.09.2020

Alors que la musique reprenne vite ses droits. Difficile en ces conditions d’annoncer parfaitement la saison à venir: elle est encore pleine de surprises et d’inconnues. Mais elle me mènera quand même en Suisse, Allemagne, Autriche et en France….. A suivre très vite donc, la musique est de retour…..

Opéra National de Paris

Fini Budapest, bienvenue Paris! Un immense plaisir que d’être de retour à l’Opéra National de Paris. Deux mois dans cette si belle et unique maison, qui m’apprend toujours autant! Hier a eu lieu notre prégénérale du Parc, si belle production d’Angelin Preljocaj. J’ai pour l’occasion le plaisir d’avoir dans la fosse le magnifique Orchestre de Chambre de Paris. Orchestre de Chambre de Paris qui avait créé la production en 1994. Un merveilleux orchestre de chambre, à l’écoute, réactif, avec de magnifiques couleurs, et une vraie joie pour eux de varier les plaisirs et de se retrouver en fosse. Il est vrai que Angelin Preljocaj a pour ce ballet choisi les plus beaux extraits possibles de la musique de Mozart, que les tempi sont bons, et que le ballet est absolument merveilleux. Entre les répétitions du Parc se glisse la reprise de Lear, reprise à laquelle j’ai le plaisir de collaborer. Enorme partition contemporaine de Aribert Reiman, dans une sublime production de Calixto Bieito. J’avais eu le plaisir lors de la création d’y remplacer Maestro Fabio Luisi il y a trois ans, Maestro Luisi qui est de retour cette saison et qui déploie les forces de l’opéra de Paris avec une vigueur incroyable. De plus, un merveilleux collègue.

Alors je ne peux que vous inviter à venir au Palais Garnier dès le 6 décembre pour Le Parc!  Le ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris y est absolument sublime et Eleonora Abbagnato que je dirigeai dans Dutilleux lorsqu’elle a été nommé étoile fera avec ce ballet ses Adieux. A très vite!

Budapest, Hungarian State Opera!

Fantastic adventure in Budapest! Hungarian State Opera, you are a fantastic company! You are giving me so much pleasure! Already our 3rd collaboration, and with ”La fille mal gardée” seven extra shows together! I did enjoy every minute in your company: pure beauty and pure pleasure! Hope to see you very soon!

Thessaloniki, a German Requiem

the 18th of October, I had the pleasure to come back to Thessaloniki, city I love so much and to perform there with the Thessaloniki State symphony Orchestra the German Requiem. What a pleasure. My first Brahms Requiem…. what a score. The orchestra, really amazing, the choir of Thessaloniki (thanks Mary!), Tassis Christoyannis and Anna Stylianaki, were all so concentrated, so perfect during the performance. Is it weird to talk about “concentration” for a performance? I don’t know…. I just know that I had the feeling to talk with God during the entire concert. A real gift and I deeply want to thank thank you to all, all of you my dear colleagues who made this adventure possible! A special word for Zoï Tsokanou who did this adventure possible, and amazing! (and welcome to Camille Ilias!).

Hope to see you, all of you very soon, best best regards from Budapest!

TOSCA, une aventure humaine et musicale, Festival Opéra en Plein Air!

What a title. Tosca, one of the most beautiful possible operas! Perfect in term of music, perfect in term of theater. What a bless…. An entire summer busy with such a masterpiece. What is Opéra en plein air? People! A fantastic company! Agnès Jaoui, who did a fantastic work, in term of esthetic, “direction d’acteurs”, knowing each word of this opéra. A real partner to build musical theater, a very strong common comprehension of this piece. Opera needs to be always that! Agnès, merci merci merci!!

Tosca is not possible without Tosca, Cavaradossi and of course Scarpia! The pleasure to play so many shows was as well to have for each role different casts! Deniz Yetim, Ewa Vesin & and Karine Babajanyan in Tosca: DIVAS! With three different types of jealousy! Paolo Scariano and Christophe Berry in Cavaradossi, with two different vocalities, different ways to approach this role. And Jean-Luc Ballestra and Ziyan Atfeh in Scarpia, two ways to be pervert in power. And of course, a so funny Sacristano in Yuri Kissin, Angelotti every evening so perfect with Javid Samadov, Romain Pascal, Spoletta and Piotr Kumon, Sciarrone, both of them perfect in bad boys! Our pianists Arlinda Roux Majollari, Phil Richardson, who did prepare our musical team so well, two real angels! The orchestra, so well leaded by Anne Gravoin, and so attentive for all the cast changes, thanks to all of you for your commitment and your musicality! The choir Unikanti and children choir La Maîtrise des Haut de Seine and their entire team leaded by Gael Darchen, fantastic musician and fantastic colleague!

And it will be impossible to say here thanks to all the entire technical team, the régie and to all the organisation of Opera en Plein Air. Jean-Baptiste Mallassinet who leaded this project, thanks thanks thanks! And, Gilbert Desvaux, who joined the adventure a bit before the summer, discovering so quick and with so much wisdom our company, thanks Gilbert for your permanent support! Tosca in Les Invalides, with Napoleon behind will stay in my memory for ever.

Photos are important? Here we are, it was really a fantastic adventure!

Le Grand Échiquier

Le Grand Échiquier: what an adventure! Let’s take two minutes to say thank you to all the colleagues who made this adventure possible. Let’s start with Katia Buniatishvili who give always such a wonderful and modern image of what is classical music, and who are classical musicians! Madame, you are not only a fantastic artist but a marvelous ambassador. Elena Stikhina, who jumped in a couple of hours before the show: fantastic lady: A voice who makes dream the audiences at the Met, Bastille etc etc. Elena, you did manage Puccini and this day like a real tsarina. All the colleagues of the orchestra, so attentive to music and to the needs of all the other department, thanks for your commitment, your patience, and your music. A particular thank to Anne Gravoin, and for our Harpist Anja Linder, who discovered in the afternoon the non planed “Vissi d’Arte” she never played. To finish with music, I want to say thank you to a category of people we could forget. Dead but alive: the composers! Thanks Johannes Brahms, Giacomo Puccini, Serguei Rachmaninov, Leonard Bernstein, I love what you do to our souls. And, more vivit, a huge amount of work to make all of this possible, thanks to 3eme Oeil! What a team! Yvan Aubé, Christian Chevalier, and all the so crazy television teams. Mesdames Messieurs, they work in a way impossible to describe, with an efficiency who makes the show go on:) Anne-Sophie Lapix and all of us, we were all feeling like small diamonds! A pleasure as well to meet again for this program old friends Gil Roman and Richard Perron, always so fantastic with the Bejart Ballet. And to finish a particular bravo to Nicolas Guiraud who did take care of the “variétés side” with such a Maestria, a big thank you to Claire Feasey the “solution maker”,to Aviel Cahn, always a source of beautiful ideas, and a particular “Danke” to Julia Stein: you are a true “ange gardien”, nothing of that would have been possible without you. Still a Tosca this evening, another beautiful adventure, and I wish all of you a fantastic summer!

TSSO,Thessaloniki, Vier Letzte Lieder, Mahler 5th!

What an extrême pleasure. Two masterpieces, with a fantastic orchestra,in a fantastic town, full of meaning for me. A week of happiness, of musics, of energy. Last time I was in Thessaloniki I think I was child. The city where my father studied, where he became the glorious mathematician he is.

It was my turn now to meet as an artist the fantastic Thessaloniki: greek yes but as well “Balkanic”! Quick, smiling, full of café frappé! A port, industrial, with such a high energy, very far from the beautiful and contemplative beaches of Halkidiki. And, the pleasure to collaborate with the Thessaloniki Symphonic State Orchestra. Sometimes, it’s nice to say that some clichés are wrong!!!!!! The quality, the professionalism, the musicality of this ensemble, pure happiness.

And the pleasure to discover Sophia Kyanidou in Richard Strauss Vier Letzte Lieder: not only a fantastic soprano,  but a fantastic colleague, able to manage the major difficulties of the piece, the eternal lines of the text and with a perfect German! Concert took place in the Megaron, ideal concerthall on front sea and was a magnificent success (for all able to read greek, click hier!)

See you very very soon my dear Thessaloniki, in October for Brahms Requiem!

Bodensee Festival, Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz!

Bodensee Festival 2019!

I had the pleasure last season to do two projects with the Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz. The first one was a fantastic Shostakovich Prokofiev program, played in Konstanz for the above, followed by a tour in Switzerland ending in Geneva in the always so beautiful Victoria Hall. The second was Eugen Oneguin, already for the Bodensee Festival.

Winfried Neumann invited us again this season, with a very modern program: Music of Gorecki (Magdalena Müllerperth as soloist was ideal!!) followed by another modern composer Theo Verbey. Theo Very is a dutch composer (the theme of the festival this year is “BeNeLux”), who put so many beautiful ideas, colors, atmosphere in his Frozen Echo, it was an honor to make the orchestra discover this new score! Very difficult piece for the orchestra who did a perfect work: Bravi a tutti, but specially to the konzertmeisterin, the solo cello, the percussionists, the bassclarinett, Kontrfagott, the solo Kontrabass, and the 1st&3rd horns and the trumpets! two performances so concentrated, a real honor! Hope to see you soon, thanks again for this confidence so often renewed!

Brahms 1st piano concerto, Stravinsky Le Sacre du Printemps, Essen, Folkwang Orchestra

Brahms First piano concerto, Stravinsky Le Sacre du Printemps. As I love to say, one for the soul, one for the guts. A pleasure to be back in Essen, to see a lot of so good colleagues, and to enjoy this fantastic program: a lot of work of course but in the end a fantastic concert. With a particular thanks for our soloist, Doyeon Kim. Not only a perfect pianist but as well an excellent musician. We did music together, talked about tempi, atmospheres and how to find the perfect tempi passing from the piano to the horn, a real pleasure. Hope to see you all again very very soon. A perfect week, only possible with the magnificent help of Emile Cantor and Lucia Stratan!