On January 9, 2023, the Orchester National de France will be on stage at the Espace des arts in Chalon-sur-Saône, in Saône-et-Loire. The musicians of one of our four musical formations will be led by Enrique Mazzola and will accompany two of the great voices of our time: soprano Patricia Petibon and tenor Cyrille Dubois.
A journey to the heart of the Second Empire! The program of this delightful concert is indeed devoted to Jacques Offenbach, with a bouquet of vocal and instrumental pages taken from The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, La Périchole, The Daughter of the Drum MajororThe Tales of Hoffmann. Offenbach… under his art of parody, the humor of his prosody and his insolence, reveal a high musical quality and… a lot of emotion! The music of the king of operetta is hectic, sparkling, nostalgic too, creative and above all elegant. This is all that awaits us on January 9 in Chalon-sur-Saône, on one of the seventy-six National Stages located on French territory.
Music, Dance, Theatre… a multidisciplinary arts space
The Espace des arts (EDA), directed since January 2020 by Nicolas Royer, offers a program where all artistic fields of live performance are represented. While reserving a place of choice for shows for young audiences, in the theater and in the cinema, the EDA gives a good place to dance and has been able to assert itself at the national level. World music, symphonic music and jazz concerts also punctuate each season, in particular thanks to the Les Utopiks and TransDanses festivals, etc. Not to mention the major circus and visual arts events, with sculptors, painters, photographers and visual artists. . Creation being at the heart of the project carried out by the Espace des Arts (also a production and support company for artists), many artists are welcomed there in residence. The place conceives and supports many shows, up to two hundred performances per season, and continues to invite great orchestral phalanxes, like this appointment made with the Orchester National de France for this concert of the new year.
Newly renovated (end of works in 2018), the EDA has just celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. It was one of the first Maisons de la culture built in France, in 1971, on the initiative of André Malraux, then Minister of Cultural Affairs. It became Espace des arts in 1984 and was awarded the Scène Nationale label in 2006. The project, delivered by the Lyonnais urban planner architect Daniel Petit, was part of a major urban renovation operation. If the architecture already had a particular strength at the time, born of the contrast between the interior and the exterior – formal brutalism of the facades and the use of concrete opposing the interior refinement – its new identity is more about conviviality, the reception and travel of the public, much easier.
The different spaces
Listed as a 20th century heritage site in October 2009, a historical monument since 2014, the EDA offers four performance venues: the Grand Espace with 900 seats (where the concert that concerns us will take place), the Petit Espace with 250 seats, the Studio noir (80 seats) and the Piccolo (small Italian-style theater in the heart of the city). The visibility curves, the acoustics and the welcome in the central patio were meticulously redesigned during the recent renovation by the Franco-Belgian architectural firm Pierre Hebbelinck and L’Atelier HBAAT. Raising the building to the top of the stage cage, built to house the artists (with bedrooms, kitchen, reception area, etc.), was one of the most important operations on the site. It’s a huge aluminum box with large bay windows, some forty meters high, offering a magnificent view. She symbolizes the “servant”, you know… this night light which, in all the theaters in the world, stays on when the place is empty… and which reassures in the dark. She is the soul of the theater that never dies and affirms the presence of the Espace des arts in the city of Chalon-sur-Saône.
To open 2023 with the music of Offenbach played by the Orchester National de France is to launch a new year full of humor and inventive, melancholy, tender and wacky. Let’s not spoil our fun, let’s be optimistic, let’s start the year in a happy madness… in Chalon-sur-Saône!
Gabrielle Oliveira Guyon