First Gala for the opening of Opera & Ballet season in Monte-Carlo invited guests to dance on the stage!

An open dialogue of music and dance

On Thursday, September 21, 2017, Jean-Louis Grinda, Director of the Opera of Monte-Carlo, and Jean-Christophe Maillot, Director of the Ballets of Monte-Carlo (Photo insert by Alain Hanel) organized the first combined season opening Gala at the Salle Garnier in the Principality, in the presence of H.R.H. Princess Caroline of Hanover and distinguished personalities from Monaco and abroad.

This fundraising event, supported by the Friends of the Opera and the Friends of the Ballet associations, is set to become an annual gathering. It all started with a creation by Jean-Christophe Maillot entitled Presque Rien (Almost Nothing), by dancers of the Ballet of Monte-Carlo, and followed by Paysages de Russie, performed by young artists of the new lyric Academy of the Opera of Monte-Carlo under the tutelage this year of one of the more celebrated baritones of the world Jose Van Dam (who happened to be seated at our table during dinner), accompanied by Kira Parfeevets at the piano. The Lyric Academy of the Opera of MC is supported by the FSCI presided by Madame Svetlana Medvedeva, wife of the Prime Minister and former President of Russia Dmitri Medvedev, who was also present that evening.

Dancing on the stage of the Salle Garnier

After the performance donors and supporters were invited to a formal exquisite dinner in the Atrium of the Casino, with all the women elegantly dressed in white or red to honor the Principality, and the men in their handsome tuxedos. After dessert the guests were invited onto the stage of the Salle Garnier to dance all night long to the rhythms of the Good Times Foundation orchestra. It was truly memorable!

Presque Rien a sublime ballet performance

In Presque Rien (Almost Nothing) Jean-Christophe Maillot captures the fine, almost inexistent line that binds two people on the edge of the abyss, ever under threat of being severed. Maillot is unconventional so he rejects classic ballet traditional portrayal of love, as previously featured in a number of his choreographic works. The couple in this piece does not experience the magic of love at first sight that will perpetuate; to the contrary, their beginning is born in the dark. To those who manage to hold love in the palm of their hand, this “almost nothing” that is born at the beginning of any relationship, is able to spread its wings and grow forever in our hearts.

  • Choreography/staging: Jean-Christophe Maillot
  • Music: Bertrand Maillot
  • Lights: Dominique Drillot
  • Costumes: Jean-Christophe Maillot and Jean-Michel Laine
  • Dancers: Maude Sabourin, Christian Tworzianski, Gaelle Riou, Anne-Laure Seillan, Candela Ebbesen and Anna Blackwell

Paysages de Russie by talented young artists 

The Lyric Academy of the Opera of Monte-Carlo reunites every year in the Principality young artists from foreign countries who are eager to learn a different approach to lyrical music. Worldclass experts, pianists, vocal coaches, conductors, join them in a very demanding 3-week program, offering the chance to learn from their masters and discover other styles. These young artists performed at the Gala a program entitled Paysages de Russie (Scenery from Russia) that included pieces from P. Tchaikovski, M. Glinka, S. Rachmaninov and I. Dunaevski.

The young artists were: Julia Lozhevskaya Soprano, Maria Lupareva Soprano, Ksenia Nesterenko Soprano, Yulia Mennibaeva Mezzo-soprano, Maria Zaikina Mezzo-soprano, Alkesander Chernov Tenor, Alexandre Fedorov Tenor, Vasily Mikhutin Baritone, Viacheslav Vasilev Baritone, Georgy Kremnev Bass.

Today’s quote

“Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit.” Jawaharlal Nehru

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