A Night at the opera

Frenchie Fantasy in Freezing February. I know it looks like a typical review but…You know how talkative I am. Things are not so easy. 
As you know, I am jet lagged in my mind and in my mouth, since my tongue tasted more Sunday roast and chicken Masala than Salade Niçoise and Bouillabaisse (oh miss that with a glass of Blue pastis at Endoume harbor #sights #justagirl #noawomannocry). 
Well, sometimes life surprises you, not for a good fortune, but for a great encounter. An amazed affect like being sat quieting in a tiny office and got an email which made you rush in the Underground to face the legendary façade of the Royal Opera House.

L’Etoile_ROH Covent Garden Music; Emmanuel Chabrier, Libretto; Eugene Leterrier and Albert Vanloo, Director; Mariame Clément, Designer; Julia Hansen, Lighting designer; Jon Clark, Choreography; Mathieu Guilhaumon, Performers; Conductor; Mark Elder, King Ouf I; Christophe Mortagne, Smith; Chris Addison, Dupont; Jean_Luc Vincent, Siroco; Simon Bailey, Prince Herisson de Porc_Epic; Francois Piolino, Tapioca; Aimery Lefevre, Lazuli; Kate Lindsey, Princesse Laoula; Helene Guilmette, Aloes; Julie Boulianne, Patacha; Samuel Sakker, Zalzal; Samuel Dale Johnson, Chorus; Royal Opera Chorus, Orchestra; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House,
Etoile_RO_1209 L’ÉTOILE PRODUCTION IMAGE © ROH. PHOTO BY BILL COOPER

So First of all, I am not the kind of girl who is only moved by symphonic orchestra and as you know I can drive crazy in insane live gigs. (You don’t know? Well wait and see… a bit.)
But once, you had the chance to watch La Traviata having her last sounding breath, part of your soul is changed forever.

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(Back to story)
But I was not there to meet a building; they are not very fun, well they can be but … you got me, don’t you? I had to meet a French director (and a woman) of l’Etoile Opera play. Mariame Clément is the interviewed kind that is impressed by her creative career but speaks with kind simplicity. Laughing explaining that the opera bouffe was like ancient popular variety with tough bewildering music score, but aware that the entertainment is a slaving work.

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To face the luxury three-week long Hard Dark side of the bright stage, you must locate yourself in the amazing offstage, so large that you should climb the mythical glass Bridge of aspiration to a vintage atmosphere.
 As it is the ROH, antique settings and long-ago accessories mix with blue jeans of opera singers in this very late run-through, not so far from the great stage of Covent Garden, but more convenient. Well, would a whole symphonic orchestra stand the nth glass drinking of an unique singer? Well you know the answer.

Etoile_RO_231 HÉLÈNE GUILMETTE AS LAOULA © ROH. PHOTO BY BILL COOPER
Etoile_RO_231 HÉLÈNE GUILMETTE AS LAOULA © ROH. PHOTO BY BILL COOPER

So like at the ballet rehearsals, the piano is played and supervised by the conductor.  An English music director ready to embrace his new role for the night preview.
And how about Mariame Clément? 
Well, the director felt a bit like a fly on Opera walls especially for the Premiere. I was there, quite surprise to continue this dream but in the Queen experience and I nearly felt nervous and stressed like she was.

She said: « If something is wrong, we die a thousand times. But surrounding by the audience, it’s like a brand new view over our work. Empathy feeling. But something happens for the preview, something magic full of adrenalin like your own child growing and fending for himself. « 
The new born creation was in fact funny and moving, like a back and forth in the Eurostar. From scratch. When Smith and Dupont (aka Chris Addison and Jean-Luc Vincent) open their flat doors, they welcome stereotypes. And but nice ones. I have never laugh as much as watching Chris Adisson having tea time … Well I heard English people beaming at French guy swallowing wet noisy coffee smell croissant.

Cliché or reality? Myth. Because between Galeries Lafayette and Don’t Look Now… We’re Being Shot At!, it’s a whole nation who was laugh not at but with surrealism and English humour for a mega melting pot that wouldn’t hate the Monty Pythons… Nice sum up of an international collaboration with Canadian, French, English… with smile, seriousness and huge politeness ! One more cliché? Oh really? 😉

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What’s the point? None, this article is even not promotional because the event is over (and this is very sad). But when you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are…

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Let’s hang out together !

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