Opéra Comique: sing and scare me!

Overlooking the lovely Place Boeldieu, one of the three golden cherubs adorning the facade of the Opéra Comique raises a friendly hand. No doubt he greeted with a playful gesture the spectators finally back out of the confinement due to the Covid-19.

→ MAINTENANCE. Deconfinement of cultural places: “Confidence will be the determining factor”

Before the holidays are dispersed and after weeks of closure, like all theaters, the Salle Favart resumes for a few days a show as creaky as it is pleasant, The Horrifying cabaret, imagined by Valérie Lesort. The director and actress takes on board three accomplices: the soprano Judith Fa, the baritone Lionel Peintre and the pianist Marine Thoreau La Salle. Without forgetting a last minute “surprise guest” of whom we will obviously not say anything and a technical team with a thousand and one turns, just to “add a layer” of light and sound fright.

An “initiatory” journey

Guided by sympathetic cosmonauts dressed in black and helmets, the masked spectator follows a route marked out on the ground by macarons representing skulls: the tone is set, although softened by the champagne flute offered as a sign of welcome.

Worse (or better?), He now has to get around a bloody corpse to win the seats arranged on the stage, facing a red velvet curtain (1). Penumbra and smoke add their touch of mystery… which becomes poetry when the curtain rises, revealing the empty room, the harmony of its proportions, the graceful roundness of its Italian-style balconies, the indistinct mass of its extinguished chandelier. This point of view, so familiar to artists, is much less so for the public and alone deserves to be included in the Horrifying cabaret.

Walk among the specters

Straight out of Vampire Ball, the four performers joyfully launch their macabre dance for an hour and a quarter of songs and extracts from operas where terror, death, evil spirits and bones that collide take the lion’s share. We pass happily from Handel to Marie-Paule Belle, from Saint-Saëns to Rameau, from Boris Vian to Purcell and from Lloyd Webber to Kurt Weill.

Wearing a wig where a severed hand is stuck like a terrible trophy, Valérie Lesort distills sound effects (a fabric stretched by jerks to evoke the beating of the heart, a straw broom representing the crackling of flames), to which respond the voices of the singers and the notes of the piano (or the synthesizer). A game of massacre which also takes the unfortunate Marine Thoreau La Salle for a victim. She suffered the worst abuse from her “comrades” but was reborn, even more virtuoso, with admirable consistency!

A place for tenderness

However, the show is not just a parody of fairground attractions and reserves moments of emotion delicately set in all this grandiloquent. Judith Fa, who proves from start to finish the extent and ease of her vocal palette, dares to poignant half-tones in The Grand Lustucru by Kurt Weill; Lionel Painter shivers a Cold Air (King Arthur of Purcell) under a delicate rain of snow and solitude.

Integrating the sanitary accessories in force (masks and hydroalcoholic gel), the staging of Valérie Lesort uses with greed big strings of the fair theater or caricatures in an irresistible way those of the musical as of the lyric art. As such, the extract from Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with plenty of glitter, hazardous choreography and eye rolls, deserves the kitsch medal. And we want more!


our selection of online shows

► Bucolic

Glyndebourne’s Open House

In the verdant English countryside, under the gaze of placid sheep, a chosen audience (a little snobbish, no doubt.) is to be found, the beautiful season is coming, for a taste of the lyrical art and the pleasures of the countryside. At Glyndebourne, the opera is best enjoyed as the champagne and the sandwiches of cucumber when sounds the intermission. Created in 1934 under the sign of Mozart, the festival has had to cancel his publishing 2020 reserve fans a programming refined because of a book, different each week, available free of charge.

Until June 7, Don Giovanni takes the features dangerous and seductive baritone Gerald Finley ; and from 7 to 14, Mozart still with Cosi fan tutte. As a bonus 100 % British, traditional songs are offered by large votes attached to the festival, such as Dame Felicity Lott, to share a “moment of peace “ in these troubled times. Not to mention a few revenue-intensive to concoct its picnic lyric to home !


Philharmonie de Paris

Opera and concerts : our selection of online shows

By its impressive size, the building designed by Jean Nouvel, is conducive to extensive training and symphonic choirs. It is risky to imagine today, when such staff will again meet in front of 2,400 spectators that can bring together the places.

Well before the health crisis, the Philharmonie de Paris – through its application Philharmonie Live – offered online with a rich variety of its many and eclectic activities. A special offer containment is now being added to every day, in the form of a concert freely accessible for 24 hours.

The video archives of the institution are revived, honoring all styles of music, from jazz to romantic repertoire, the contemporary to the baroque. It will be noted and the initiative of the Orchestra of Paris, which was recorded in the empty room, a concert, Wagner and Richard Strauss available until 27 November, and the violinist Renaud Capuçon and his friends, also in Strauss, until 28 November.


The Currency of Brussels

Opera and concerts : our selection of online shows

Deemed to long for the boldness of the programming assessed by a public always ready for adventure, the brussels opera house has also strengthened its virtual bid. It is a real opera festival which opens in the month of June, lit by a phrase from Jean Starobinski : “The masterpieces reveal new meanings when we ask new questions. “

Drawing in the catalogue of her recent archives, The Mint makes the poster The magic Flute Mozart reviewed by Romeo Castellucci and The golden Cockerel Rimsky-Korsakov under the baton of Alain Altinoglu, musical director of the house. The wagnerian will gather in the production of Lohengrin staged by Olivier Py, while the contemporary creation – a red thread of the policy of The Currency – is illustrated with Orfeo & Majnun, a show that marries the East and the West led with the festival of Aix-en-Provence.

► Inspiring

The Palau de la Música catalana

Opera and concerts : our selection of online shows

Is there a more beautiful setting dedicated to music ? With its lush décor emblematic of catalan modernism, its glass multicolor and its lines rolling, the palace located in the heart of Barcelona dazzles the eye even before the ear is requested by the melodies, rhythms and harmonies.

Designed by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner and inaugurated in 1908, the hall (2,000 seats), built at the request of wealthy patrons of the Catalan capital, originally hosted large parties choirs. Before becoming also a place of musical creation : the sublime Concerto to the memory of an angel Alban Berg was given for the first time in April 1936.

Nowadays, symphonic concerts, chamber music and recitals feed on a varied program, available in this moment on the Canvas. It appreciates both the musical forces of places, such as Jordi Savall or the great singers of the Orfeó Català, the stars of the international circuit, including the Palau de la Música has archived the performance.

► Exciting

Berliner Philharmoniker

Opera and concerts : our selection of online shows

The reputation of the legitimate the Berlin philharmonic Orchestra as excellence, each time singular, of the leaders who have been called to direct enroll in golden letters on the pediment of the temple of symphonic music. Pioneers, the Berliner Philharmoniker have imagined the double virtual of their concert hall, in the form of a “Digital Hall” : usually on a subscription basis, this site is incredibly rich offer, in these times of scarcity, a harvest of appointments in open access.

To archive (621 concerts and a large number of interviews, documentaries, decryption of works…) along with new proposals, in the expectation of a reunion between the artists and the audience. Kirill Petrenko, music director of the Berliner Philharmoniker since August of last year, imagine with a few players spread out on the stage, at a distance from each other, concerts at the beauty and melancholy that reveal the evocative power and comforter of the music.

► Intimate

Wigmore Hall

Opera and concerts : our selection of online shows

In an atmosphere deliciously outdated, the room in london, founded there almost one hundred and twenty years program 460 concerts per year ! What to give the giddiness to lovers of chamber music, including listening, focused, and competent equal to the heat at the time of the applause.

This month of June makes beautiful use of the piano and, in particular, two british artists of achievement who will each offer a recital of about an hour, to discover direct to 14 hours (French time) on the website of the Wigmore Hall.

On June 9, Benjamin Grosvenor, dazzling technique and height of stunning views from a young age, occurs with the violinist Korean Hyeyoon Park.

The next day, it was the turn of Paul Lewis to put his art is understated and yet powerfully lyrical in the service of Beethoven and Schubert.

Later in the month, on the 26th, the sensitive tenor Mark Padmore will perform the Winter trip the same Franz Schubert, in the company of the pianist Mitsuko Uchida.


“The night is a theater, not an empty space”

The cross : How have your own nights been disrupted by containment?

Sébastien Daucé: They were cut short by confinement! Insomniac, I wake up around 3 or 4 in the morning and listen to music, not in “professional” but for pure pleasure outside of work. Very soft music, interpreted with the lute or the theorbo, which I put as weak as possible. In the silence so dense, so absolute, experience is precious.

Rediscovering the silence of the night is one of the gifts of confinement and I hope that we will be able to preserve it afterwards. I’m a bit questionable about the big talk about the “next world” and the urgent, loud call for necessarily new ideas. Of course, creativity is essential, but it seems to me that there is also a lot to draw from the thoughts of the “before”, those which remain original and fruitful.

Since inactivity gave me time, I notably immersed myself in Lost illusions and Splendours and Miseries of the Courtesans de Balzac, novels that I adored as a teenager but never read since. What an enlightening vision of our humanity, and of our inhumanity, in this diptych – where one meets elsewhere in Vautrin an obscure figure, nocturnal in its evil side! There is much to meditate on in these times.

How does baroque music, which is your field of activity, figure at night and sleep?

S.D.: Sleep (which doesn’t just grab you at night) is an essential part of the opera performance from Lully. A moment which suspends the action but enriches the dramaturgy, displaces it, by spells, magic, bewitchment. The music becomes tender, sinuous, enveloping, to install a climate of hypnotic tranquility. The composers summon instruments with delicate and dreamy timbres like that of flutes and use undulating rhythms, balanced by the waters of the Lethé river. The night is indeed the place of a theater and not an empty space devoid of action.

La Croix: More generally, what vision of the night did the 17th century develop?

S. D.: A very different vision from ours, heir to the romantic conceptions of the XIXe century that we find, for example, in the reveries of Lamartine. In the XVIIe, the night is the kingdom of the imagination where all masked, repressed desires are released by the day. During the night, in a kind of catharsis, one can live more intensely, beyond the possibilities, within a colored world, far from any idea of ​​uniform darkness.

Before the 1670s and the advent in France of opera and its codes, the night was figured in a very subtle, ambivalent, positive and negative way at the same time. Neither Manicheism, nor recourse to moral judgment, as will be the case in the last times of the reign of Louis XIV. The nocturnal spirits can worry and disturb, but they are also characters born from our dreams or from those of great poets like Tasso or Ariosto.

Yet the Sun, that is to say King Louis XIV, triumph of the Night?

S.D.: Of course, officially. But see The Royal Ballet of the Night (1), given in 1653 where the young Louis XIV danced, to seal the defeat of the Fronde. The monarch appeared there after several hours of song and dance where the nocturnal forces had been able to seduce the assembly, charm it, precipitate it into an enchanted, intense universe. And if the Night (embodied by an ambivalent voice, female or male) gives up, it nevertheless leaves wonderful memories with the listener as the day takes back its rights …

At the end of the reign of Louis XIV, the aesthetic fantasy, the sometimes unbridled creativity of the plastic arts as of music, will give way to a more regulated, admirable but less explosive form: in a word, classic.


The opera and the concert in his living room

Before announcing, on Sunday, March 15, its (magnificent) 2020/2021 season via a video broadcast live on its site, the Munich Opera has made available to music lovers free of charge the capture of one of its old productions, served by two stars of the lyric world: Le Trouvère by Verdi with Jonas Kaufmann and Anja Harteros. As a start to a program which is enriched each week with new archives. They bear witness to the high standard of a theater which, alas, must give up its traditional and flamboyant opera festival this summer. Also of note are some very moving “Monday Concerts”, available one week: opposite the empty hall, singers and musicians perform in front of a few cameras for about an hour, without intermission. Intimate and touching moments, melancholy and comforting not to be missed.

An initiative that the great German scene is not the only to implement, following the Berlin Philharmonic which, the first, gave free access, for a month, to its formidable Digital Concert Hall, a real trunk of symphonic treasures.

→ ANALYSIS. Financial disaster announced for the cultural world facing Coronavirus

Have followed many other prestigious musical houses whose coronavirus has brutally closed the doors, such as the Vienna Opera (which has a remarkable catalog of film productions) or that of Stockholm which has chosen to immerse the spectator in a “real” representation, by offering live video Walkyria by Wagner.

In New York, the Metropolitan Opera, which also has copious film archives and was a pioneer in the broadcasting of its shows in cinemas around the world, rebroadcasts some of its productions for free on its site. “ We would like to offer lyrical consolation to all opera lovers in these extraordinarily difficult times “, Assures its managing director Peter Gelb.

Artists’ initiatives

Around the world, live streaming flourishes, broadcasting old concerts on apps and platforms, but also individual initiatives by artists who are now brutally deprived of audiences. Here is the pianist Igor Levit who gives a recital in his living room, accessible on social networks.

But also these broad extracts from Werther, by Massenet, which the mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato interpreted with the Polish tenor Beczala, live on his Instagram and Facebook accounts. The singer-citizen took the opportunity to call those who can afford it to make donations to theaters and orchestras …

In France also

France is not to be outdone where the violinist Renaud Capuçon – who called on the Minister of Culture to help a sector in dire straits – posted a video: we see him and hear him play, supported by the NomadPlay application which allows an instrumentalist to be accompanied virtually by an entire orchestra. A way to encourage musicians, professionals or amateurs, to practice their art, to brighten up their confined daily life and that of their loved ones.

If you don’t come to music, music will come to you “, Launches, for its part, the Philharmonie de Paris which highlights its old concerts available on the application PhilharmonieLive, while developing, on its very ergonomic site, thematic playlists or the virtual visit of its Museum.

The Paris Opera has set up a lyric and choreographic program in free streaming, probably in collaboration with the France Télévisions platform. As of Tuesday, the new production of Manon de Massenet will benefit from such dissemination.


Virtual tours (35) Free operas and concerts!

The auditorium of the Vienna State Opera (© WienTourismus / Paul Bauer)

On this blog, I was telling you a few days ago how to attend operas given at the Vienna State Opera, the famous Wiener Staatsoper, for free from your sofa. To do this, click again here.

But it’s not just Vienna!

From the sofa you can also experience the magic of opera at the Teatro Regio in Turin. This is a unique opportunity to see the dress rehearsals of the productions of the current season and of the previous ones, available, act by act. For that, it is enough to connect on the site of this theater.

The operas of the Teatro Real de Madrid are also accessible. Again, log on to the theater site and then register for the Myoperaplayer platform. For this use the code OPERAENCASA. Registration to the Myoperaplayer platform is free and allows you to view many operas from the Teatro Real in Madrid, such as Aida, The Magic Flute or Carmen.

Concert lovers are also spoiled. Many concerts by the Bavarian Symphony Orchestra can be accessed free of charge by logging onto the Orchestra website. The programming is varied: Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Strauss, Beethoven, etc.

Have a good time !

Paula Boyer

Associated topics


Maria Lassnig’s letters to Hans Ulrich Obrist

Maria Lassnig’s letters to Hans Ulrich Obrist

She was the most important painter in Austria. In recent years he has repeatedly been voted the most influential person in the international art world. The Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and the Carinthian painter Maria Lassnig had a close friendship. Obrist not only curated a number of exhibitions that significantly promoted Lassnig’s world fame, since 1993 the two also had a lively correspondence. The Maria Lassnig Foundation has now published the letters in an elaborately designed picture book.

“Dear Hans Ulrich, you can see from the handwriting that I am a ruin of whom no one knows what can become of it.” Lines that 90-year-old Maria Lassnig addressed to the Swiss curator Hans Ulrich Obrist in 2009. These are words of resignation that stand in stark contrast to the vital and headstrong work that the Carinthian painter created into old age. But the big recognition came late.

“She was very linguistic. She had a strong lyrical side.” Peter Pakesch

Late pioneer

In 2013, shortly before her death, Lassnig was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Art Biennale. But it is already too weak to accept the price personally.

As a pioneer of female self-determination, Lassnig had the feeling of being overlooked throughout her life. Self-doubt that torments the artist also runs through the correspondence with the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, who is one of the greats of his profession. Despite self-doubt, she was also convinced of herself and knew exactly what she was doing artistically. This mixture can be found in many artists.

Book cover


Facsimiles, photographs, works

“She never looked for closeness to groups of people and groups. But she kept in close contact with individuals. The letters that she wrote to Hans Ulrich Obrist also show that,” said Peter Pakesch, Chairman of the Maria Lassnig Foundation. Together with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Pakesch published the volume “Maria Lassnig – Letters to Hans Ulrich Obrist”. It not only combines facsimiles of handwritten letters and postcards, but also photographs and illustrations of central works.

Handwriting and drawing flow together

“The artist also provided many letters with drawings. The drawing element also flows very strongly into other correspondence. Handwriting and drawing flow into one another,” says Peter Pakesch. “She was very linguistic. She had a strong lyrical side. This mixture makes the letters special.”

Maria Lassnig has been writing to the world-famous curator for more than 20 years, sharing her thoughts on painting with him, polemicizing against the popular medium of photography and getting lost in considerations of everyday life that takes place between her Viennese studio and the country estate in Carinthia’s Metnitz Valley. An exchange that looks deeply and falls silent a few months before Maria Lassnig’s death. In January 2014 Lassnig addressed her last words to the esteemed friend and wrote with barely legible handwriting:

Every day is the last ………………
Every night weighs heavily
All around the world


“Maria Lassnig – Letters to Hans Ulrich Obrist”, edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Peter Pakesch & Hans Werner Poschauko for the Maria Lassnig Foundation, Cologne 2020
Maria Lassnig Foundation




“Qüity and Cleo” are going to party her to the Virgin

It’s a bit like “Qüity and Cleo at the Villa»(And, in addition, with the Virgin) as there is Martine at the sea. Except that not at all. These are lives of misery filled with riches told with a catchy fantasy that explains this title, Full of grace. “Villa” here does not mean luxury but slum, “Villa miseria”. Argentina’s novel Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, born in 1968, begins when the two lovers left Buenos Aires and this “Villa” who suffered legal carnage, for Miami where a “Cumbia opera” allowed them to build a fortune. He tells the story of community life in the slum at full speed.

Most often, Qüity is the narrator, and sometimes Cleo. This is a transvestite who has abandoned prostitution. “About to suffocate in her own blood and in the semen of the whole police station, she had had a vision: the Virgin”, and the two will never let go. Qüity is a young journalist who went on a report to the “Villa” which does not have “Never been able to return from the other side of the world, that of those who live far from the small Auschwitz that we find in Buenos Aires both blocks away”. Qüity is the writer and has no morale at the start of the book. “I felt stranded and thought I had survived a shipwreck. I now know that no one survives a shipwreck. Those who sink die and those who get out live by drowning. “ Cleo will blame him for writing “Any bullshit”, “You have no imagination, you need things to happen so you can write them”. A child died before his eyes while searching “His favorite plush, the bald cook”, when the “Villa” has been cleaned.

It’s not just the Virgin being “Full of grace” but she’s the one who best describes the tone of the novel. Cleo wants to build her a “Nomad cathedral”, Qüity is appealing to a “Psychiatric treatment” for his partner, but here is how, over the chapters, one or the other evokes the mother of Jesus, the son in question and the stories swarming around this family. “And then, yes, we have the right to be selfish like all mothers in the world, even the Virgin says it: if it was up to her, Jesus would have been a carpenter and would have married Marie Madeleine, Even though she was a bit of a whore, it was still better than playing the prophets and getting married with a cross. ” “The host disappointed me that a few years later I would be disappointed with the drugs, even if I insisted more on coke than on God.” “She [la Vierge, ndlr] gave me the Bible to read. It’s super long. ” “She says you can’t know what it was like to pretend to be speaking as a single Jewish mother fifteen years ago two millennia ago.” Until : “And little by little I remembered and I cried, cried, cried with great cries and I insulted the Virgin in every way, I told her the most horrible things that came to my mind, “holy nitouche” was the sweetest, then I ended up saying much worse things, “grumpy”, I said to her, “treacherous daughter of a bitch”, I said to her, “a bitch raped by a pigeon, submissive and accomplice of this son of a bitch of God “». There is an original vision of Jesus in anti-Robin Hood demanding to “give back to Caesar” what belongs to him.

Full of grace also tells the life of the slum dwellers among the wealthy, the girl killed by vice, for the enjoyment of others, which offends a good friend of Qüity, “Stoic man who believed in murder without pleasure”. There are internships offering “Such difficult employment opportunities that even Theseus would never have found a job in such a labyrinth” and this moment when “The villa was filled with people, students, photographers, NGO activists who administered the tithing of guilt […]”

It changes from Miami where Qüity, from the beginning of the novel, became “Bunker freak”. “I know it now, but I can’t stand the slightest noise anymore, I think that if someone put cumbia on the bottom, I would shoot on sight. […] Curiously, this isolation is what best marks my adaptation to American society. I am part of the Bunker’s Club, an association of barjots locked in incubators as inviolable and impenetrable as they are autonomous. ” Life was different in the Villa in full activity, when it was really life but this troop was not equipped for combat. “Alone would have been enough to transform us into an army, but once we became a regiment we would have ceased to be what we were: a small and happy multitude.”

Mathieu Lindon

Gabriela Cabezón Cámara

Full of grace Translated from the Spanish (Argentina) by Guillaume Contré. L’Ogre, 202 pp., 18 €.


The Metropolitan Opera organizes a luxury video gala with the biggest stars of the classic

For all fans of opera weary to watch for the umpteenth time a replay of Carmen, the Metropolitan Opera of New York found the solution: to bring together forty lyric singers from around the world, among the greatest, for the time of a live evening. The prestigious establishment thus organizes a free gala on Saturday 25 April with most of the stars of the moment.

But in this period of confinement, no question of being moved all this little world. No, everyone will perform from their home and perform one or more tunes during the evening. Live from France, for example, the Franco-South African soprano Elza van den Heever (who was expected at the Philharmonie at the end of the month in Fidelio), the Franco-Italian tenor Roberto Alagna and his wife the Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, but also Diana Damrau live from Orange and the couple Nicole Car and Étienne Dupuis.
The song will come from all over the world with Piotr Beczała (live from Poland), Joseph Calleja in Malta, Michael Fabiano who will sing from Florida, Renée Fleming from Virginia, Elīna Garanča in Riga, Jonas Kaufmann in Munich, Bryn Terfel from his Country of Galles or Sonya Yoncheva, Pretty Yende, Michael Volle, René Pape, Anna Netrebko …

Met calls for donations

The event, which will be hosted by general manager Peter Gelb in New York and musical director Yannick Nézet-Séguin in Montreal, will start at 7 p.m. (French time). To attend, go to Metropolitan Opera website. The concert will then be available for just over twenty-four hours on request. The detailed program for the evening has not yet been released, but it should be announced soon, the institution said.

This “containment gala” is organized as part of the fundraising campaign and calls for donations launched by the establishment. Although it has the largest budget for a theater in the United States, the Metropolitan explains that the Covid-19 pandemic had economic consequences “Considerable” for the institution. Closed since March 12, the Opera announced that it could not pay remuneration to singers whose performances have been canceled. But they are all and this, until the end of the season in May.

Until the date of April 25, it is still possible to wait thanks to the performances broadcast by the Metropolitan Opera on the Internet, the free online shows offered by the Paris Opera until May 3, or this very baroque version of The Abduction from the Seraglio revisited as an episode of Star Trek.


“Idoménée”, king of Aix-en-Provence


from Mozart

Recorded on July 26, 1963 at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, on the Madelen platform of the INA (1)

It was then the era of Gabriel Dussurget, creator in 1948 of the Festival of lyric art in the courtyards and squares of the Provençal city. In 1963, he completed his permanent homage to Mozart by programming his somewhat neglected operas.

It was still the era of the single television channel. When the live broadcasts were of the ingenuity of the pioneers and the educational mission of the media took the voice of Max-Pol Fouchet, accompanying the viewer with a scholarly and instructive speech.

→ READ. Madelen, we love it so much

More than the music lover, this lyric archive offered by the INA on its new online platform will delight the “telephone”. The sound balance is sometimes random, especially when the choirs intervene, abundantly and beautifully solicited by the score. This one is, moreover, victim of several cuts which weaken the dramatic line, of which the young Mozart was however so proud. Of the two original states of the work, created in Munich in 1781 and then in Vienna in 1786, the second is chosen, entrusting in a tenor voice the character of Idamante, son of the king of Crete Idomeneo.

The charm operates

From the cast assembled on the Aix scene we will remember the luminosity of the stamp of Teresa Stich-Randall (in the role of pure Ilia), the official diva of the festival in those years. Above all, however, the intensity and brilliance of Enriqueta Tarrés, a Spanish artist who has been largely forgotten since then. Ronald Dowd is a tormented and fervent Idomenee: the dullness of the tone adds to the heartbreak of the monarch and the eloquence of his song.

Lovers of lyrical staging will be well disoriented, even amused: elegant painted canvases, ancient costumes bordering on the peplum, light effects that we can guess on the small screen … Close-ups dominate in this capture, punctuated by very wide diving frames. But the charm operates in the documentary extras: the still simple arrangements of the courtyard of the Archdiocese which hide neither its stones nor its trees, the “respectability” of an audience which, compared to that of today , looks young and elegantly dressed. And, strangely made sensitive by the sober aesthetics of black and white, the nocturnal serenity, so Mozartian.


At war with boredom: vintage synths, English football and Mozart

1- With scented candles For twenty years, Sufjan Stevens’ career has been like a pendulum of medium: as soon as the most revered folk bard of his generation takes light (say, an Oscar nomination for his lamentos in Call Me by Your Name), he goes back into the darkness of his cellar tinkering with an electronic opera or composing a learned ballet. In the era of global confinement, the idol of souls hushed up under the duvet discreetly returns with an epic symphony “New age” (sic), composed with a vintage synthesizer. Without banjo and almost no songs (if not some flights dissolved under tablecloths of echoes), but with four hands with his adored stepfather, Lowell Brams (cf. the famous Carrie & Lowell). With a patchouli solemnity bordering on kitsch, the duo evokes gaps in the orange sun, underpinned by a worried pulsation. As if they too were forced to look out the window.

Sufjan Stevens & Lowell Brams, Aporia (Asthmatic Kitty Records).

Joan Fontcuberta's “counter visions”.

2- With bottle Being 20 years old in full confinement? Yes, it happens, unfortunately, and this is the case with photo magazine Air, celebrating this anniversary with three vintage-focused numbers. The first, released Wednesday, available for purchase as a PDF on the magazine’s website, asked 60 photographers to remember their 20s. At that age, Joan Fontcuberta, now 65, made “Counter visions” provocative in the midst of the Franco dictatorship, in a neodadaist spirit (main photo) ; Jürgen Nefzger, 52, was on the roads of China with Pink Floyd in his player; Elene Usdin, 49, disguised her boy friends as girls; and Emma Barthère, 37, photographed naked men… In this nice issue, Gerard Malanga, co-founder of the magazine Interview with Warhol, shares a few portraits of stars, including an Iggy Pop with a damn sexy coat. Air also launched “Confinement yours”, a daily column on his site, Instagram and Facebook, in which a photographer gives news, more or less airy…


Sunderland fans suffered double Wembley heartbreak in 2018-19 (Picture: Netflix)

Netflix photo

3- With feet and a ball Flair or an incredible drink? We are not sure how to qualify the idea that led Leo Pearlman and Ben Turner, the two producers of Sunderland ’til I Die, to take an interest in this football club in the North East of England. Originally, the first season of the thrilling documentary series of Netflix was to narrate, after a sad descent into the second division, the epic attempt to rise from the “Black Cats” to the prestigious Premier League, the elite of the ball British. It was a relegation to the third division! In this new season, the former hated owner, Ellis Short, sold Sunderland to a wealthy Englishman in insurance, Stewart Donald. Beside him, the general manager, Charlie Methven, emerges as a fascinating antihero, more concerned with marketing issues than with the game played by the team. This former journalist from the conservative daily Daily Telegraph is especially concerned with finding the music that will resonate the sound of Ibiza in the Sunderland stadium and, even more, shaking up its sales team following a management guide for dummies.

Sunderland ’til I Die on Netflix.

The Fall of the Usher House - Jean Epstein - 1928 - Collections La Cinémathèque française

The Fall of the Usher house, Jean Epstein, 1928. La Cinémathèque française collections

4- With a treatment of dandruff Closed since March 13, the Cinémathèque française is looking for a parade – when it was supposed to be in full De Funès cycle (with exhibition at the end) – by offering every evening now at 8:30 p.m. on its new Henri platform (not in reference at Portrait of a Serial Killer but to Langlois, founding father of the cinephile temple) a surprise film which, once online, will remain visible free of charge for the duration of the confinement. These are films from the Cinémathèque’s collections, restored over the past twenty years. Among the first to be broadcast: the haunted splendors of Usher House Fall by Jean Esptein (1928) after Poe.


The Mercy of Titus, by Mozart, at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, in December 2014. Photo Champs-Elysées Theater

5- With Viennese coffee and powdered wigs In the series “institutions invite you to offer shows”, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (TCE) emphasizes the mozartitude of its project – it changes from Beethoven. Every Friday, the TCE presents at 7:30 p.m. on its YouTube channel house productions from the Viennese troublemaker: Mithridates April 17, directed by Clément Hervieu-Léger, and Don Giovanni the 24, directed by Jérémie Rhorer with Jean-Sébastien Bou and Robert Gleadow. As well as, at any time, the piano concerto Young man performed by David Fray and the National Orchestra of France. Remember that since the first music therapy congress in 1974, Mozart has been popular for all that is depression, insomnia and anxiety.


Didier Péron


Clementine Mercier


Guillaume Tion


Guillaume Gendron


Jérôme Lefilliâtre

Sufjan Stevens & Lowell Brams Aporia (Asthmatic Kitty Records).


Sunderland ’til I Die on Netflix.