Apr 9, 2008

Confluence of Glass and Lyon

Lyon has been, for some time now, a city in love with Philip Glass. Over the last decade, he played here with the Kronos Quartet in 2000 (Dracula) in the Auditorium and then became a regular at the big Music/Dance/Drama/Whatever summer festival of Lyon, Les Nuits de Fourvière (performances are held in the Roman amphitheater). When I say regular, I'm not just showing off. His most recent appearances were in 2004 (Orion), 2005 (Naqoyqatsi), 2006 (La Belle et la Bête) and 2007 (Piano Solo, video extract of the concert under heavy rain that he insisted on not cancelling). This summer, although he won't be here, his music will open the festival as it will be the soundtrack of the new show of Bartabas (a guy whose only interest in life seems to be to make horses dance), Partitions équestres (a show sold-out on the very first few hours the booking was opened). Because you know, Lyon Opera GM Serge Dorny is so... imaginative, he suddenly realized the success of Philip Glass in Lyon could also be exploited by his house, and therefore he scheduled In the Penal Colony, a chamber opera Glass composed in 2000. I like Philip Glass quite a lot actually, but this piece I probably won't attend, for several reasons. 1. I find the "hors les murs" performances a waste of ressources. We have a great house with pretty amazing acoustics, only Serge Dorny thinks it's a good idea to forget about that and stage performances elsewhere (I guess that's what he calls accessiblity). 2. A night at the opera is supposed to be fun, entertaining, kind of ethereal and magical. I don't see at all that happening in a real prison (where real criminals are living and all). I get the correlation with the opera (based on Franz Kafka's famous book) I'm not stupid but I still think this is another of Serge Dorny's horrific ideas. When any program emphasizes that the audience have to bring their IDs because they will be needed to enter the facility, I suddenly have this urge to flee... Well-done beloved GM. Even operas from composers I like I can't bring myself (literally) to attend.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From Les Nuits de Fourvière
Thanks for this article. Please note "Partitions équestres" on Philip Glass music is not sold out : tickets are available for all performances. We indeed are passionate about his music and are pleased to say he will be attending one of the performances at Les Nuits de Fourvière this summer.