Theatre, music, dance: festivals not to be missed this summer

Stromae on the roads of France

Last March, almost ten years after the triumphant “Racine Carrée”, Stromae made its big comeback by releasing a new album “Multitude”. A musically accomplished album, in its unique way of marrying vocals, techno and world music, and with hard-hitting lyrics, evoking with an ultra-sensitive pen his depression (Hell), the pangs of paternity (This is happiness) or the harsh social reality (Health). On stage, the Belgian prodigy is used to delivering impressive shows in an unprecedented form. We are all the more impatient to find him on the roads of France, in July and August. Ph. C.

Belfort, Les Eurockéennes, June 30; Marmande; Garorock, July 3; Carhaix, Les Vieilles Charrues, July 14; Saint-Malo-du-Bois, Poupet Festival, July 15; Charleville-Mézières, Cabaret-Vert, August 17; Paris, Rock en Seine, August 28.

The “Mythologies” of Preljocaj in Bordeaux

A prodigal choreographer if ever there was one, Angelin Preljocaj will have consecutively signed aSwan Lake,a first opera production, Atysand finally this large-scale work, Mythologies. In this latest opus, where the ballet of the Opéra de Bordeaux shares the bill with the ballet Preljocaj, it is about contemporary rituals and the founding myths that shape our collective imagination. Angelin Preljocaj has no equal in setting large formations in motion, here twenty dancers, with elegance. Mythologies promises to be yet another unique adventure. All dressed in the costumes of Adeline André and on the original music of Thomas Bangalter, ex-Daft Punk. An event. Ph. N.

Bordeaux Opera, from July 1 to 10.

A “Hamlet” marathon in Bussang

Hamletthrice Hamlet this summer in Bussang, the marvelous People’s Theater is showing, the backstage of which opens onto the forest. Simon Delétang, its director, will orchestrate a marathon around the enigmatic and tragic figure of Shakespeare’s hero. First by presenting the play of the great Will, then the modern and political version of Heiner Müller Hamlet-machine and finally the only sensitive stage of Loïc Corbery, Hamlet aside. The gifted French actor will play the title role each time, accompanied by brilliant professional actors (Georgia Scalliet, Anthony Poupard) and amateurs. Ph. C.

Bussang, People’s Theater, from July 3 to September 30.

Castellucci dresses Mahler at the Festival d’Aix

We weren’t thrilled with the staging of the Requiem of Mozart proposed by Roberto Castellucci in 2019, at the Aix-en-Provence festival. The dazzling Italian visual dramatist returns to tackle the monumental symphony No. 2 Resurrection by Mahler (1895). A wiser choice perhaps for introducing theater into an orchestral work. Castellucci is fascinated by the music of the Austrian composer and by the concept of resurrection. Especially since the work will be given in the Stadium of Vitrolles, an impressive building by Rudy Ricciotti, abandoned for twenty-five years. Beautiful people will take part in this adventure: the Choeur and the Orchester de Paris, headed by conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, alto Marianne Crebassa and soprano Golda Schultz. Ph. C.

Vitrolles Stadium, July 4, 7, 10, 11 and

“The Black Monk”, a short story by Chekhov directed and brought to light by Kirill Serebrennikov.Kraft Angerer

Serebrennikov revisits Chekhov in Avignon

Because the staging is signed by the dissident Russian filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov, because the show will be given at the opening of the Avignon festival in the Cour d’honneur, The Black Monk, adapted from a short story by Chekhov, is the theatrical event of the summer. Kovrin, an overworked idealistic intellectual, goes to rest in the countryside with his friend Pessotzki and his daughter Tania. In the garden appears a black monk, who will not cease to haunt him until he tips over into madness. This fantastic drama, the filmmaker will multiply it by having it told by four protagonists… Nourished by dance, song and music, the Chekhovian mise en abyme of the director of Leto and of Tchaikovsky’s Wife risk of shaking, if it is of the same ilk as Outsidea great arty gesture shown in Avignon in 2019… Ph.C.

Avignon Festival, Cour d’honneur, from July 7 to 15, at 10 p.m.

Jérémie Rhorer in Beaune and at the Berlioz Festival

It was at the Beaune Festival that he revealed his formidable talent as an opera conductor, directing Mozart’s operas with as much ardor as sensitivity before triumphing in Aix-en-Provence and at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. And it was in Beaune that he returned, invited to an unexpected encounter with Rossini and his Tancred, a little-known serious opera, with Anna Goryachova in the title role (July 16). Jérémie Rhorer also continues his exploration of the 19e Italian century and, after a Traviata very inspired, finds Verdi. In the country of Berlioz, in Isère, he directs the famous Rigoletto with Dalibor Jenis as the jester and Olga Peretyatko as her daughter Gilda. (August 26). Ph. V.

Beaune Festival, from July 8 to 31. . Berlioz Festival, La Côte-Saint-André, from 18 to 31 August.

Olivier Dubois revises his “Tragedy” in Marseille

Since leaving Roubaix, Olivier Dubois has divided his time between France and Egypt. The enfant terrible of French dance, he marked the spirits with Tragedy, 2012 creation of the Avignon festival. On an electronic score, the creator imagined a dancing “people” as if caught in a trance. He is offering a much-awaited new version this summer. Olivier Dubois sees Tragedy (new edit) like a choreographic poem written for eighteen performers, propelling us into a “feeling of the world”. Playing on the repetition of the gesture until ecstasy, the choreographer takes the audience into his sensual universe. A shock that we hope intact. Ph. N.

Marseille Festival, July 8 and 9.

The seven dancers of “Näss (Les Gens)”, an intense and acrobatic show created by choreographer Fouad Boussouf.

The seven dancers of “Näss (Les Gens)”, an intense and acrobatic show created by choreographer Fouad Boussouf.Charlotte Audreau

Fouad Boussouf celebrates people in Paris in the summer

International success since its creation, Näss (people) by Fouad Boussouf is a concentrate of masculine energy. Drawing on the groove of hip-hop, giving it contemporary colors, the choreographer, new director of the National Choreographic Center of Le Havre, makes Näss a hymn to living together. With this piece for all audiences, the designer reaffirms the quality of an urban dance in tune with the times. Bluffing. Given in the enchanting setting – and in the open air – of the Lycée Jacques-Decour, Näss should be one of the stars of the Parisian summer. Ph. N.

Festival Paris l’été, 20 to 23 July.

Elgar and Vaughan Williams in Montpellier

The Union Jack floats over Occitania. The programming indeed lends a curious ear to the other side of the Channel and displays topics (Hamlet of Ambroise Thomas), artists (pianists Barry Douglas and Benjamin Grosvenor, the King’s Singers), composers (Tallis, Lawes, Purcell, among others) British. Discovery enthusiasts will not miss the Sea Pictures d’Elgar, a marvelous cycle of hauntingly melancholy melodies, and the Sea Symphony, for voice, choir and orchestra by Ralph Vaughan Williams, two musical seascapes from the beginning of the 20th centurye century, with a powerful breath and a deep expression, so rarely heard in France. Luxury vocal crew (Marianne Crebassa, Lucy Crowe and Gerald Finley) and Cristian Măcelaru at the helm of the Orchester national de France: a memorable crossing on the horizon. Ph. V.

Radio France Occitanie Montpellier Festival, from July 11 to 29.

The Stones in Lyon and Paris

Stainless… Bereaved by the loss of their drummer accomplice, the great Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones have nevertheless taken to the road again. Still with so much energy. The group will pass through France this summer, with two concerts planned, after mid-July, in Lyon and Paris. These stages are part of a European tour called “Sixty”, a reference to their sixty-year career. Big stages, shows, hits as if it were raining (of Street Fighting Man at Satisfaction)… Provided that the Covid that caught up with Mick Jagger in June and forced the Stones to cancel their Amsterdam concert, does not break their momentum, we should reach rock’n’roll nirvana… Ph. C.

At the Groupama Stadium in Lyon on July 19 and at the ParisLongchamp racecourse on July 23.

Bach at the Saintes festival

It has been going on for fifty years and contributes to the identity of an event that Philippe Herreweghe, privileged interpreter of Bach, has long piloted. Almost every lunchtime, the composer is in the spotlight: his chamber music, for solo instrument, or some of his 200 sacred cantatas are entrusted to the best specialists. This anniversary edition is no exception to the rule and brings together arias from cantatas by soprano Dorothee Mields, pieces for viola by Lucile Boulanger and for harpsichord by Pierre Hantaï, concertos and orchestral pages played and conducted by violinists Amandine Beyer and Stéphanie -Marie Degand. What beautiful people! Ph. V.

Festival of Saintes, from July 16 to 23.

“Chapter 3: The Brutal Journey of The Heart,” a show by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar.  The dancers' second-skin costumes were created by Maria Grazia Chiuri (Dior).

“Chapter 3: The Brutal Journey of The Heart,” a show by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar. The dancers’ second-skin costumes were created by Maria Grazia Chiuri (Dior).Stefan Dotter for Dior

Sharon Eyal ready to ignite the Nuits de Fourvière in Lyon

A new sensation on the world choreographic scene, Sharon Eyal has made audiences at the Paris Opera and the Grande Halle de La Villette blush with pleasure this season. For this meeting in Lyon, she signs, with her accomplice Gai Behar, Chapter 3 : the Brutal Journey of the Heart, end of his trilogy around the states of the body. In second-skin costumes by Maria Grazia Chiuri (Dior), the choreographer trained with Ohad Naharin at the Batsheva has definitely entered the big leagues. The proof by this choreographic odyssey. Ph. N.

Nights of Fourvière, Lyon, July 22 and 23.

Pierre Bleuse relaunches Prades

He has took over the artistic direction of the Prades festival last year. Pierre Bleuse claims a “affirmed renewal, based on transdisciplinarity and openness, without denying its identity roots and the heritage of Pablo Casals, its founder”. The dynamic conductor, who will lead the Ensemble intercontemporain from 2023, knows how to arouse the curiosity of the public by offering jazz as well as symphonic music, string quartet as well as accordion, baroque as well as contemporary, traditional concerts such as “after parties” with musicians, established artists (the remarkable cellists Daniel Müller-Schott and Steven Isserlis, for example) as well as young people from the great European schools. Without forgetting to highlight the architectural heritage of the Pyrénées-Orientales. Ph. V.

Prades Festival, Pablo Casals, from July 29 to August 12.


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