<< -- 4 -- Roderic Dunnett IN FESTIVE MOOD
But it is perhaps René Koering's contribution to reviving lost works of the operatic repertoire which give him the greatest satisfaction. Certainly over the past twenty years he has succeeded in breathing life into some ninety operas, 'many of which nobody hears -- ever.'
'When I began arranging the festival I was acutely aware that we were already surrounded by outstanding events in the midi -- Avignon, Orange, Provence: so I was keen to see if Montpellier could do something others weren't doing. I was also very aware of our huge radio audience throughout the country, which suggested a need for something different from the usual fare, of which there is plenty available already.
Europa Galante. Photo © Simon Fowler
'Hence we decided to mount a different kind of programme -- including a lot of music that wasn't being done already; and some of which is extremely rare. Opera, sometimes staged and sometimes in concert performances, has formed a major part of this.
'For instance this year, we are not only doing Séméle, not that by Handel but an opera by Marin Marais (1656-1728), the great viola da gambist and teacher (and the subject of the film Tous les matins du monde), who was a noted contemporary of Purcell, Charpentier and Rameau; plus a rare Handel Opera (Amadigi di Gaula); and also a Vivaldi opera, Bajazet -- virtually never seen (we're staging it). We're doing Honegger's Jeanne d'Arc au bücher, which does get done, but not often enough.
Copyright © 12 July 2006
Roderic Dunnett, Coventry UK