French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) and the Metropolitan Opera
Opera Talk at FIAF
Discovering Chéreau’s Elektra
at the Metropolitan Opera
With Peter Gelb, General Manager, the Metropolitan Opera; Nina Stemme, Soprano; Richard Peduzzi, Set Designer and Vincent Huguet, Stage Director
Presented in association with the International Friends of the
International Lyric Art Festival Aix-en-Provence
Wednesday, April 6 at 7pm
FIAF • Florence Gould Hall; 55 East 59th Street, NYC
New York, NY, April 1, 2016—The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) and the Metropolitan Opera in association with the International Friends of the International Lyric Art Festival Aix-en-Provence will present the talk Discovering Chéreau’s Elektra at the Metropolitan Opera, on Wednesday, April 6 at 7pm at FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall.
Genius director Patrice Chéreau did not live to see his great production of Elektra on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. But his overpowering vision lives on with soprano Nina Stemme in the title role of a young woman on a primal quest for vengeance for the murder of her father.
Prior to the Met’s much anticipated premiere of Richard Strauss’s Elektra, Met General Manager Peter Gelb will moderate a discussion with Stemme and two of Chéreau’s long-time collaborators, set designer Richard Peduzzi and stage director Vincent Huguet.
Chéreau’s Elektra premiered at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in 2013 to great acclaim. It will open this spring at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC on April 14.
Talk will be in English.
About Peter Gelb
Since becoming the Metropolitan Opera’s 16th general manager in August 2006, Peter Gelb has launched a series of initiatives to revitalize the Met that have resonated globally. In an effort to help move the Met into the 21st century, Gelb has modernized the company’s theatrical approach by bringing in a new generation of leading theater directors. He has opened up the Met to a far broader audience with a wide range of public programs: free dress rehearsals, live transmissions of Opening Night to screens in Times Square and the Lincoln Center Plaza, and more programming on public television and radio than ever before.
Gelb has helped change the perception of opera with the Met’s Peabody and Emmy Award-winning Live in HD series of performance transmissions to movie theaters around the world. The series has sold more than 19 million tickets since its inception in December 2006 and is currently seen on more than 2,000 screens in 70 countries across six continents.
Now in his tenth season as general manager, Gelb has been responsible for 64 new productions of classic operas and modern masterpieces. In an effort to help democratize opera, he launched an immensely popular Rush Tickets program, in which select orchestra seats are made available to the general public at dramatically reduced prices. Other initiatives include a commissioning program for new operas; a 24-hour Met radio channel on SiriusXM; the Met Opera On Demand online streaming service; expanded educational programs; and a contemporary art gallery inside the opera house.
Previously, Gelb was an award-winning producer of films, recordings, television programs, and live performances. He served as Vladimir Horowitz’s manager during the pianist’s career revival in the 1980s and was president of CAMI Video until 1992, making films and television programs about leading classical musicians. From 1995 until joining the Met, he was president of the Sony Classical record label.
About Nina Stemme
The Swedish soprano Nina Stemme is currently in great demand at all major opera houses worldwide. She is a frequent guest at Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Scala in Milan, Wiener Staatsoper, Opera Bastille in Paris, Royal Opera House in London, as well as the opera houses in Stockholm, Zürich, Munich, Barcelona, Houston, and San Francisco, where in recent years she has sung roles such as Isolde (Tristan and Isolde), Brünnhilde (Wagner’s Ring Cycle), Elisabeth (Tannhäuser), Turandot, Minnie (La Fanciulla del West), Tosca, Ariadne, Salome, The Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier), and Leonore (Fidelio).
Nina Stemme’s performances are met with great acclaim among both audience and critics, and 2013 she was the first recipient of the Opera Award for Best Female Singer. Nina Stemme was appointed Swedish Court Singer 2006, Austrian Kammersängerin 2012, and she has been selected ”Singer of the Year” twice, in 2005 and 2012, in the German magazine Opernwelt.
Her highly acclaimed Isolde in Christof Loy’s production of Tristan and Isolde at the Royal Opera House in London was honored with the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera in 2010. Nina Stemme has also been honored with the Swedish Royal medal Litteris et Artibus and the Italian Premio Abbiati.
Since her debut as Cherubino in Cortona, Italy 1989, her repertoire has included Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Mimi (La Bohème), Cio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly), Manon Lescaut, Tatjana (Eugene Onegin), Katerina (Greek Passion), Suor Angelica, Euridice (Orfeo ed Euridice), Katerina (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk), Countess (Le nozze di Figaro), Marguerite (Faust), Agathe (Der Freischutz), Marie (Wozzeck), Nyssia (König Kandaules), Jenufa, Arabella, Eva (Die Meistersinger), Elsa (Lohengrin), Senta (Der fliegende Holländer), Sieglinde (Die Walküre), Amelia (Un ballo in machera), Leonora (La forza del destino), and Aida. Nina Stemme has performed at numerous opera scenes and festivals including Bayreuth, Salzburg, Savonlinna, Glyndebourne, Bregenz and the BBC Proms in London.
Among Nina Stemme’s CD recordings are Fidelio with Claudio Abbado (Decca), Tristan und Isolde with Sir Antonio Pappano (EMI 2005) and Marek Janowski (PentaTone 2012), Die Walküre with Valéry Gergiev (Mariinsky), Tannhäuser with Marek Janowski (PentaTone), Greek Passion (Koch Schwann), König Kandaules (Andante), The Flying Dutchman (Chandos), final scenes from Salome and Capriccio together with Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder (EMI), Nina Stemme singt Lieder (Phaedra: In Flanders’ Fields volym 40) as well as Wesendonck Lieder (with The Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Thomas Dausgaard). In addition to this recordings of La Fanciulla del West, Der Rosenkavalier, La forza del destino, Tristan und Isolde, Aida, and Jenufa are available on DVD.
About Richard Peduzzi
Since 1969 Richard Peduzzi has designed the sets for all of Patrice Chéreau’s productions whether for theatre, opera, or cinema. He has also created a number of set designs for productions by Luc Bondy.
He was the director of L’École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs from 1990 to 2002 and of the Académie de France in Rome (Villa Médicis), from 2002 to 2008.
He has designed numerous exhibition spaces such as the Opera and Architecture rooms at the Musée d’Orsay and the History of the Louvre rooms at the Grand Louvre (1989). For the Opéra Garnier he was in charge of restoration, interior architecture, and design for the library and museum (1986). In 2010, he designed the exhibition spaces of the Museo Nazionale del Risorgimento de Turin. He has worked on a large number of museum exhibitions, particularly in Paris at the Grand Palais, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Musée du Louvre and in Rome at the Villa Médicis.
In 1988, Jean Coural, head of the Mobilier National, commissioned him to design contemporary furniture.
He was the artistic director for the façade and interior of the vinification cellar of the Château Mouton Rothschild and the Château Clerc Milon in Paullac. And he designed the museum-reception areas for the Château Margaux winery, inaugurated in June 2014.
In May 2015, he produced the scenery for Les Contes de la lune vague après la pluie, an opera written by Xaver Dayer and directed by Vincent Huguet at the Rouen Opera de Rouen and the Opéra Comique. He designed the sets for Ivanov directed by Luc Bondy at the Odéon in 2015, and is working on the designs for Othello for the spring 2016.
After designing the scenery for I am the wind by Jon Fosse at the Young Vic Theater in London in 2011, he continued his collaboration with Patrice Chéreau on Richard Strauss’s Elektra, which was performed in 2013 in Aix-en-Provence, and then at La Scala in Milan. The opera will be presented at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in April 2016.
About Vincent Huguet
After a career as an art critic and in publishing, Vincent Huguet began working in theater with Patrice Chéreau, collaborating on all his projects until Chéreau’s death in October 2013. In 2010, he collaborated with Chéreau for his special guest season at the Louvre, Les visages et les corps, where he assisting in creating the exhibition, catalogue, and directed two plays, La Nuit juste avant les forêts, by Bernard-Marie Koltès and Rêve d’automne, by Jon Fosse. In 2013, Huguet was the dramaturge and assistant director for Chéreau’s Elektra at the Aix-en-Provence festival. Since then, Huguet has directed the first revival of the production at La Scala (Milan), and will direct future productions in New York, Helsinki, Berlin, and Barcelona.
He has collaborated and worked on other theatrical and opera productions with leading directors including Luc Bondy (Tartuffe). More recently, Huguet worked with Ivo van Hove for the French production of View from the Bridge. He is currently working with Peter Sellars on Iolanta and Perséphone and the new opera by Kajia Saariaho, Only the Sound Remains, which had its world premiere in Amsterdam in February 2016.
In 2012, Huguet made his directorial début with his first opera, Lakmé, at the Opéra National de Montpellier, starring Sabine Devieilhe and under the musical direction of Robert Tuohy. Huguet’s next opera was a new creation, Contes de la lune vague après la pluie, composed by Xavier Dayer with a libretto by Alain Perroux. It premiered in 2015 at the Opéra de Rouen-Haute Normandie and at the Opéra Comique in Paris. In 2015, Huguet directed new productions of Rosemary Standley’s recital Love I Obey at the Philharmonie de Paris and Encor sur le pavé sonne mon pas nocturne, a new work commissioned by the Académie du Festival d’Aix, based on the correspondence between Marcel Proust and Reynaldo Hahn. In 2016, Huguet will direct two new productions, To Be or Not to Be, conducted by Vincent Dumestre at the Opéra de Rouen, and Histoires sacrées by Charpentier at the Opéra de Caen and in the Château de Versailles with Sébastien Daucé and his ensemble, Correspondances.
About the Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera is a vibrant home for the most creative and talented singers, conductors, composers, musicians, stage directors, designers, visual artists, choreographers, and dancers from around the world. www.metopera.org
The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is New York’s premiere French cultural and language center. FIAF’s mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression. www.fiaf.org
Spring Season Sponsors: Air France and Delta Air Lines, the official airlines of FIAF; Altour; BNP Paribas; Cultural Services of the French Embassy; The American Society of French Legion of Honor; Office Tourisme de Boulogne-Billancourt; Enoch Foundation; Florence Gould Foundation; FACE (French American Cultural Exchange); Howard Gilman Foundation, Institut franÃ§ais; New York Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts; and New York State Regional Economic Development Council.
|What:||Discovering Chéreau’s Elektra at the Metropolitan Opera|
|When:||Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 7pm|
|Where:||FIAF – Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street
(between Park and Madison Avenue)
|Admission:||FIAF Members $20, Non-Members $25|
|Tickets:||1 800 982 2787 | fiaf.org|
|Information:||212 355 6100 | fiaf.org|
|Transportation:||4, 5, 6, N, R and Q to 59th Street & Lexington Avenue|
|F to 63rd Street & Lexington Avenue; E to 53rd Street & 5th Avenue|
|Bus – M1, M2, M3, M4, Q31 to 59th Street; M5 to 58th Street