Wednesday 30 May 2018

Focus on Gounod - Palazzetto Bru Zane's Sixth Paris Festival

Charles Gounod in 1859, the year of the premiere of Faust.
Charles Gounod in 1859,
the year of the premiere of Faust.
Charles Gounod is the focus of Palazzetto Bru Zane's Sixth Paris Festival which runs from 1st to 29 June 2018. Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques with soloists Véronique Gens, Jean-François Borras, Jean-Sébastien Bou, Andrew Foster-Williams, Juliette Mars, Ingrid Perruche, and Jérôme Boutillier are giving a concert performance of Gounod's 1859 version of Faust, this is the original version with spoken dialogue (and no ballet) which was premiered at the Théâtre-Lyrique, having been rejected by the Paris Opera as not sufficiently 'showy'. By the time the work did reach the Paris Opera, it had sung recitatives, a ballet and more, becoming a full grand opera.

Another rarity is Gounod's opera La nonne sanglante which is being staged at the Opera Comique by David Bobée with Laurent Equilbey conducting Accentus Choir and Insula Orchestra, with soloists Michael Spyres, Vannina Santoni, Marion Lebègue, André Heyboer, Jodie Devos, Jean Teitgen, Luc Bertin-Hugault, Enguerrand de Hys, and Olivia Doray. This an early work, a five-act grand opera staged at the Paris Opera in 1854, it sets a libretto rejected by a number of composers, including Berlioz. It will be interesting to see whether it can live again on the stage!

Other composers are featured too. There a double bill of Offenbach's Les Deux Aveugles and Herve's Le Compositeur toque, both works date from the 1850s and were intended as short curtain raisers before full length shows, and the composers were bitter rivals at the time. There is also a staging of Messager's Les p'tites michu, which dates from 1897.

Full details from the Palazzetto Bru Zane website.

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