Laurent Joyeux’s Editorial

The voice, its spells & enchantments

After the great quest for liberty, crimes and punishments, we now embark upon the third segment of this lyric voyage: confronting a world that seems to have reached a point of no return, discovering how to relearn poetry, to marvel again at the old legends, to return to the source of Light, to bring to life with sincerity the world of art, and to cast a new eye on the world when the sum of our experiences has made us impervious to shock.

This will be the challenge of the new season: the voice, with its spells and enchantments, will tear us from the frenetic course of a world often bereft of sense and goodwill, a world that leaves us less and less time to dream, less and less time to come to terms with loss and reinvent ourselves, to love, to rebel, to engage, to fight, or become apathetic. This season will pay tribute to the power of the voice, through speech, song, tirade, monologue, scream, be it individual or collective, soft, sweet, violent, lyrical, imbued with a thousand colours, poetic, but never false. It will be a tribute to sincerity, to truth.   

With Der Traumgörge (George the dreamer), Zemlinsky seeks in his second opera to reconcile opposites: dream and reality, naiveté and awareness, nature and civilisation, subjectivity and objectivity. Through the eyes of Görge, the poetry of the real reclaims power in a world disrupted by the stark changes imposed by industrialisation.

Premiered in Rome in 1642 at the Palazzo Barberini, Luigi Rossi’s opera Il Palazzo Incantato (The enchanted palace) was the last opera performed in Rome before the Pope’s ban of more than 70 years. It takes irreverent inspiration from the twists and turns of Italian epic poetry: Arioste’s

Orlando furioso. As with Görge, the world here is full of illusions, of hatred, disdain and manipulation, but courageous and loving hearts will always find the strength to triumph. Is this not also what Pamina and Tamino exemplify in The Magic flute: to fight against their own worst enemies – themselves – to grasp the truth by confronting their fears and emotions?

The character of Floria Tosca is today inseparable from the great artists who have incarnated the role, first amongst whom is clearly Maria Callas. Her rigour and exacting approach to the work, with regard to others but above all to herself, remains a model for all who study her voice, its precision and expressiveness. It is a model also of humility before the music, humble before the discipline and effort the work demands. The fate of the singer, subject to the abject and restraining power of the despot Scarpia, will be reflected in the tale of two other heroines. First, with Poulenc’s La Voix humaine and the suite imagined by Olivier Py and Thierry Escaich, Point d’orgue. Then, at the end of the season, with Janáček’s The Makropulos Affair, an absolute masterpiece of 20th century opera. In this virtuoso work, full of playwright Karel Čapek’s facetious humour, the singer Emilia Marty for the last time recalls all her lovers, all her roles, and relives them in the ultimate expression of art and love.

The musical programming embraces the same ambition. A cycle of recitals will allow us to (re)discover great voice s: Natalie Dessay, Núria Rial, Karine Deshayes, Jakub Józef Orliński, Véronique Gens, Thomas Bauer. We will continue the Beethoven commemorative year with a cycle of sonatas for pianoforte and the complete piano trios. The ensembles and artists in residence will once again share with you intense emotions, interpreting works dear to their inner voice. As soloist, David Grimal will open and close the season, first with the complete cycle of Ysaÿe sonatas, then the complete cycle of sonatas and partitas by Johann Sebastian Bach.

In January, the Lumieres d’Europe festival will feature almost all of our artists in residence: the Mitteleuropa of Les Dissonances – after Petrushka and before Mahler’s Fourth symphony –Europe between the two wars will be represented by Ravel with Anima Eterna Brugge, the filiation of Bach by Andreas Staier, and a Handel | Rameau concert from Le Concert d’Astrée.

Before turning their attention to Sicily, Cappella Mediterranea and Leonardo García Alarcón will tackle two monuments from the history of music: Johann Sebastian Bach’s Magnificat and Saint Matthew Passion.

Les Traversées Baroques will perform Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine.

The dance programming will once again feature major international choreographers: Ohad Naharin and the Batsheva Dance Company, Hofesh Shechter, and Benjamin Millepied.

Numerous other events for all audiences will be shared, of course, and I invite you to discover them.

My greatest hope is that you will be able to attend them all. Our dream, that of the artists and myself, is to patiently and modestly weave the invisible thread that binds this programme, that of sincerity of emotion, the quest for truth, the taste for sharing. This is our ambition in the final season that I have the great pleasure and honour of proposing to you here one last time at the Dijon Opera.

Laurent Joyeux
Directeur général & artistique

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