Venezuelalı Orkestra Şefi Gustavo Dudamel Paris Operası’na yeni bir soluk getiriyor
Venezuelan renowned conductor Gustavo Dudamel has a vision to open up the Paris Opera to a new generation of opera-goers and support young artists. “I truly believe in the transformative power of music and culture,” said the famous orchestra conductor.
Playing with Gustavo Dudamel is a dream come true for every young artist. Marine Chagnon, guest artist of the Paris Opera Academy, is fulfilling this dream. This is a significant moment for young artists starting their careers.
The French mezzo-soprano has been preparing for a unique concert under the charismatic leadership of the famous conductor for weeks. “I already feel honored to be able to work with such an artist. I have seen him conduct many times, but I have never worked with him before. So, I am very excited and feel very good,” says Marine, feeling the pressure.
Dudamel, the music director of the Paris Opera, wants to highlight young artists like Marine and invite them to perform on the big stage with him: “The fact is, they are students but they are also artists. And I think they should feel more involved in high-level music production. The best way for them to be inspired and continue working on what they love is this.”
According to Dudamel, “Having a large area for these young people who are future stars in a legendary place with a great tradition like this institution is wonderful.”
Marine is working with her academy colleague Francois Lopez-Ferrer to make the final touches to her performance. The orchestra conductor has been following his mentor Gustavo Dudamel for years. Lopez-Ferrer, who was previously part of the Dudamel Fellowship Program at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, describes his mission at the Paris Opera as follows: “My job here is to prepare them to applaud when they appear in front of the orchestra with Maestro Dudamel, (and) to establish a more fluent communication and connection. You can learn a lot from Gustavo Dudamel. There is a list of what he said, how he said it, and how he got the result he wanted from the orchestra.
The concert program at the magnificent Palais Garnier features rhythms and colors reflecting Dudamel’s Latin roots, “Of course, there is a lot of Latin influence. It reflects my past and, frankly, my Latin spirit. I think the thing that moves you in a very special way is music,” says Dudamel, who wants to shed light on the Paris Opera Orchestra from the orchestra pit to the stage.
Frédéric Laroque from the Paris Opera Orchestra says of Dudamel, “Gustavo and our orchestra got along very well from the first moment. It was like love at first sight. He decided to show us more on stage. He was inspired by this relationship between him, us, and the audience behind us. He needs to feed on that.”
Dudamel first conducted this orchestra in 2017 for the production of La Boheme.
Dudamel has a packed schedule from Palais Garnier to Opéra Bastille. He describes Paris as one of the world’s most beautiful cities: “It is a lively city; there are so many desires. There are so many people who want to come to Paris, and you feel that energy.”
Dudamel is bringing a new breath to the repertoire of the Paris Opera. John Adams’ groundbreaking work “Nixon in China” is one of the newest additions. “John Adams’ music will be played for the first time in history at the Paris Opera. I think this is very important. He is already one of the greatest composers in history; he is a genius in the path he creates,” says Dudamel.
The director of the show, Valentina Carrasco, sums up its story: “This play tells the story of Nixon’s visit to China in 1972, planned to resolve the problems between the two countries. I started to think of the term ping pong, because it was like playing ping pong with a tented fork. I like the metaphor of the soil. There is a network that divides the world in two, people throw their responsibilities like a ping pong ball. It was a good picture for the world of the Cold War era.”
Another important mission is to seek new audiences. Gustavo Dudamel and the Paris Opera want to build bridges and open their doors to a new generation of opera-goers. “Overall, I think you always have to try to attract new audiences. There are always many people who have never been here before. And it is essential to think about how to bring them here. Keep the theater at the center of society,” says Alexander Neef, president of the Paris Opera.
Thousands of low-priced tickets reserved for young audiences for special events every season. Baritone Thomas Hampson says he enjoys singing for young people: “There is no reason for young people not to be impressed by opera. They don’t have to be writers or musicians. It’s in our DNA. Taking music to people.”
Dudamel says, “These art venues should always be people’s venues. Culture is identity. People are not just coming to you. You’re going to them. You’re giving. You’re connecting. You feel that what they hear enriches their lives. And that is a mission.”