The new season of the Palazzetto Bru Zane will provide a perfect opportunity to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Jacques Offenbach, the master of operetta and the splendours of the Second Empire.
This composer, born in 1819, left behind a catalogue of works which is far more varied than might at first appear. True to its ground-breaking role, the team at the Palazzetto Bru Zane has worked hard to unearth some buried treasures, like the madcap piece of Spanishry, Maître Péronilla, a late work whose seventeen soloists play an array of nuanced comic characters. In addition to a production of La Périchole, its colours given new vibrancy by Marc Minkowski on period instruments, a flamboyant Madame Favart (in co-production with the Opéra Comique) and Les Deux Aveugles, a youthful burlesque already full of invention, there will be a cycle of Venetian concerts focusing on light opera genres at the time of Offenbach, a recording of unpublished virtuoso arias showcasing the talents of Jodie Devos (in co-production with Alpha Classics) and an international conference.
A few months later, in the spring of 2019, and to coincide with the centenary of the treaty of Versailles, there will be a tribute to composers in the Great War, a pioneering generation who paved the way to modernity. Schmitt, Ropartz, Boulanger, Ravel, La Presle, Halphen, Debussy and many others will be honoured. Among these figures, many of whom are now forgotten, Jean Cras will receive special attention for his prolific œuvre and forceful personality.
Playing an increasingly active role in mounting stage productions, the Palazzetto Bru Zane will give audiences the chance to rediscover Nicolas Isouard’s Cendrillon, the older sister of Rossini’s La Cenerentola, which it predates by seven years. At the same time, the mischievous Mam’zelle Nitouche by Hervé, the equally playful P’tites Michu by Messager and the more tragic Phèdre by Lemoyne will continue their European tour.
Several concert and recital productions will follow suit: Vote for me!, Les Fleurs du mâle, and Once upon a tine…, as well as the production of 2 Bouffes en 1 acte which will begin a series of weekends devoted to the discovery of opéras-bouffes at the Théâtre Marigny (studio Marigny) in Paris. And while a new programme of sacred music will feature works by Berlioz and Martini, the programme of Requiems by Plantade and Cherubini, premiered in 2016, will grace the stage at the Barbican Centre in London.
The pleasure of discovery is above all a celebratory collective experience: Paris will host – as always in June – the 7th Palazzetto Bru Zane Paris festival, while Montreal will launch the first Palazzetto Bru Zane festival on the other side of the Atlantic, in close collaboration with the team at the Salle Bourgie in the Musée des beaux-arts.
The centre will stay in touch with those who are unable to travel and attend (all) the concerts: Bru Zane Classical Radio continues to broadcast the French Romantic repertoire 24 hours a day all over the world, while the Bru Zane Mediabase will feature hundreds of new articles, notes and iconographic documents, in addition to a range of books published with Actes Sud and some new CD-books (2019 will see the publication of the… 30th volume). Enjoy listening, reading and above all… making new discoveries!