Feb 28, 2008


Amongst the things that could be improved at the Paris Opera, the 102 member chorus sure could use some help. I've always found they could work on homogeneity, nuances and other aspects and, because I'm used to our fantastic chorus here in Lyon, I can't remember the last time I was not disappointed by the Paris counterpart.

Austrian Peter Burian, the actual chorus master who was hated by the singers, already left to prepare for his new job (starting on Sept.1, 2008) as head of the chorus of Il Teatro Real (Madrid).
In his absence, his position is already being shared between his former assistant Alessandro Di Stefano and former Netherlands Opera chorus master Winfried Maczewski, until new director Nicolas Joël makes a permanent decision when he will effectively be in charge (september 2009).

I'm not sure promoting Di Stefano will improve drastically the situation, as he was already in charge of some productions last year (La Juive, for instance) and was all but spectacular.
Moreover, in the current performances of Verdi's Luisa Miller, some reports are pretty harsh against his work: "Les chœurs sont d’un statisme qui appartient à une autre époque et les chanteurs semblent livrés à eux-mêmes." [The chorus is so static it belongs to another era and the singers seem to be left to themselves].

So I guess the endless problems in that department are far from over at the Paris Opera...

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