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CULTURE: The Dijon Opera opens up to new aesthetics

The management intends to “bring to Dijon what the world of classical music offers best”. However, world music or the new circus will take place in the 2022-2023 season alongside operas from the great repertoire as Dominique Pitoiset indicated this Tuesday, May 10 in the presence of Christine Martin.

The Dijon Opera is entering the 2022-2023 season with a new lease of life. More than fifty titles will be offered to the public from next September – including eleven lyrical performances – to broaden their cultural horizons or simply have fun.

Dijon’s cultural facilities intend to cultivate excellence and meet new audiences by offering performances by renowned artists and by forging partnerships to export themselves outside the walls.

Aesthetes, amateurs and novices will thus have something to explore among opera, lyric theatre, singing, world music, dance and the new circus.

The next future-themed season

This Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at the Auditorium, Christine Martin (PS), deputy mayor of Dijon in charge of culture and president of the cultural establishment, Dominique Pitoiset, general and artistic director of the Dijon Opera, and Bruno Hamard, Deputy CEO, presented the upcoming season.

The future is precisely the theme that will be declined from September 2022 to June 2023, with two sub-themes: nature and childhood. The program will lead to 88 curtain raisers representing 97,000 seats offered throughout the season, at the Auditorium and at the Grand Théâtre since the first part of the work is now complete in this building.

The pricing policy is unchanged with prices ranging from 10 euros at the last minute to 65 euros in Tariff A category 1 with half price reductions for RSA beneficiaries or apprentices for example, subscriptions allowing a reduction of 30%, without forgetting the Culture Card for places at 5.50 euros and even an “intergenerational exemption” (find the price list).

The season will be presented to the public on May 19 at 7 p.m. with a broadcast of excerpts from works.

“This season is rich, strong, diverse, open to all”

“What Dominique Pitoiset offers is a wealth of programming in a desire for very open sharing with all audiences”, indicates Christine Martin taking the floor, “with no doubt a desire to see this house frequented by audiences who , perhaps, did not come there. (…) We are therefore in the crossroads of aesthetics that can be carried by various partners”.

Since 2017, the Dijon Opera has been labeled a “lyrical theater of national interest” by the Ministry of Culture, which guarantees the “excellence” of the cultural project and the commitment to creation and cultural action. This materializes, at the national level, through partnerships with the Opéra national du Rhin, the Opéra Comique, the Royal Opera of the Palace of Versailles or the orchestra and choir of Radio France and, at the local level, with La Vapeur or Zutique Productions.

“In short, this season is rich, strong, diversified, open to all”, sums up the cultural assistant. “We have a claim here: in this world, to achieve at some point a little common joy, a little extra humanity.”

The operas of the great repertoire are well and truly present

“The backbone of our project lies in the staging of operas from the great repertoire, baroque music, symphonic music”, points out Dominique Pitoiset. Thus seven symphony orchestras will follow one another during the season.

“We tried to alternate well-known works and others who are less well-known, well-known artists and others who are less well-known, young artists, and bring to Dijon what the world of classical music offer of the best,” says Bruno Hamard.

“The acoustics of the Auditorium are recognized and appreciated by all musicians. We will try each season now to offer such a varied range of major international formations, ”he continues.

Openness to world music and circus

To this will be added jazz, world music, contemporary dance and even magic because, according to Dominique Pitoiset, “the idea is to be present at all ages and in all social categories that make up our community. To open up to world music, to dialogue with the music of the Other, of others, and to realize that in fact our Western music is not a dominant model”.

“Opera is a word that still intimidates”

Cultural action continues to raise awareness of the aesthetics presented at the Dijon Opera. “It is not by programming artists from diversity that your audiences are different,” notes Dominique Pitoiset. “What is important is to open a dialogue in what is today called the space of cultural rights, that is to say an egalitarian relationship in artistic and cultural education.”

“Opera is a word that still intimidates”, he analyzes, “we realize that with a program that is much more open, more eclectic (…), it helps to soften this a priori. This does not mean that people who will listen to Angélique Kidjo one day will listen to Stiffelio the next.

Behind the scenes, with regard to the environment, the question of sustainable development has entered into the daily life of the Dijon Opera as a company. According to Dominique Pitoiset, “the construction of sets, recycling, training for the youngest, apprenticeships. Other generations think otherwise and force us to reconsider our own practices. It’s a very exciting moment.”

A new biennial

The Dijon Opera will initiate from June 5 to 11, 2023 a biennial of sound experiences in the urban space called “Souffle”. According to Dominique Pitoiset, for a week, it will be a question of “experimenting with today’s music”.

Eighteen events will be developed by various partners including Why Note, La Vapeur, the Consortium, the Dijon Conservatory and the École Supérieure de Musique. The biennial will end with a DJ set at the Auditorium.

This initiative is part of the desire of the director of the Opéra de Dijon to “change the rhythm” and to multiply the actions outside the walls, whether in Dijon itself or by creating small forms which will go on tour throughout the Bourgogne-Franche -County.

Jean-Christophe Tardivon

Discover the entire 2022-2023 program of the Dijon Opera

A selection of shows from the 2022-2023 season

September 17, circus (from ten years old): “The Highlands” designed by Mathurin Bolze. Project shared with Cirq’ônflex.

September 18, symphonic concert: a program of russian music around Segueï Rachmaninov and Nikolaï Rimsky-Korsakov performed by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. Musical direction Alain Altinoglu. Anna Vinnitskaya at the piano.

September 24, symphony concert: a program of French music around Emmanuel Chabrier, Igor Stravinski and Claude Debussy performed by the Orchester philharmonique de Radio France. Conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Isabelle Faust on the violin.

On September 27, dance: “Via Injabulo” by Via Katlehong Dance, a South African troupe that delves into the heart of the pantsula culture of the townships. Choreography Amala Dianor and Marco da Silva Ferreira.

On October 15, recital: “My lover of Saint-Jean”a recital ranging from figures of love in Baroque music to “Mon amant de Saint-Jean”, performed by Le Poème harmonique.

October 20, Lyric Theatre: “The Song of the Earth” by Gustav Mahler, directed by Philippe Quesne, “contemporary artist appreciated in Dijon”, musical direction Emilio Pomarico, “well known to music lovers in the greater region”. Philippe Quesne offers “a vibrant meditation on the future of our planet” interpreted by the Klangforum Wien.

November 12, recital: “Amazon” or a program around the female figures of Baroque music, performed by the Jupiter Ensemble, conducted by Thomas Dunford, and Lea Desandre, “the most marvelous mezzo-soprano of her generation”.

From November 20 to 24, opera: “Stiffelio”, “unknown masterpiece” by Giuesppe Verdi, musical direction Debora Waldman, director Bruno Ravella. “A rather special fable” on “a background of adultery” leading to “pardon with punishment” performed by the Dijon Bourgogne Orchestra.

On November 26, concert: “Muashah”, program around Andalusian medieval music as part of the Nuits d’Orient festival, performed by the Chorus of the Dijon Opera and an oriental soloist singer. Musical direction Anass Ismat.

December 4, concert: violinist Renaud Capuçon conducts the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra for a program of French music as Christmas approaches.

December 8, circus and magic (from 8 years old): “The Sound of Wolves” created by Etienne Saglio. Project shared with Cirq’ônflex. “A mind-blowing program, in a forest planted on the Auditorium stage.”

On December 21 and 22, dance: “Swan Lake” by the Ballet Preljocaj, a reinterpretation by the choreographer Angelin Preljocaj from the music of Piotr Illitch Tchaikovsky.

On January 8, symphonic concert: a journey with Jacques Offenbach at the heart of the Second Empire, performed by soprano Patricia Petibon and tenor Cyrille Dubois. Enrique Mazzola conducts the Orchester National de France.

From January 15 to 21, opera: “La Perrichole” by Jacques Offenbach, musical direction Laurent Campellone, staging Laurent Pelly. “A little moment of happiness” or “the guarantee of a wildly cheerful evening in the pure spirit of vaudeville”. Interpretation of the Dijon Burgundy Orchestra.

From February 26 to March 2, opera: “The Turn of the Nut” by Benjamin Britten, musical direction Elizabeth Askren, direction and scenography Dominique Pitoiset. “One of Britten’s most fascinating operas”, “on the question of abused childhood”.

March 8 and 9, lyrical theater: “Diary of a Disappeared” by Leos Janacek, director and scenographer Ivo van Hove who is “in the top ten of international directors”, sets Jan Versweyveld. “Children of concrete theater” who should “of great interest to our audiences”. A project shared with the Théâtre Dijon Bourgogne.

April 5 and 6, lyric theatre: “The Little Shop of Horrors” by Alan Menken, musical direction Maxime Pascal, direction Valérie Lesort and Christian Hecq. A performance that marks the start of a collaboration with the Opéra Comique for one co-production per year for five years, with the workshops of the Opéra de Dijon constructing the sets.

May 18 and 19, dance (from 8 years old): “Jungle Book Reimagined” under the artistic direction of Akram Khan. The Bangladeshi-born English choreographer reinvents Kipling’s plot.

From April 25 to 29, opera: “Armida” by Jean-Baptiste Lully, musical direction Vincent Dumestre, staging and scenography Dominique Pitoiset. This co-production between the Royal Opera of Versailles and the Dijon Opera tells the story of a woman who defends her people by seducing enemies; only the Crusader Renaud resists the magician’s charms, which irritates him to the point that she lays a trap for him. Performed by The Harmonic Poem.

May 25, world music: “Mother Nature” by Angelique Kidjo.

On June 14, dance: “Full Forsythe”three ballets by William Forsythe including “Quintett”, in collaboration with the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon.

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