Mozart – Le Nozze di Figaro (Gardiner)
Théâtre du Châtelet
One of two theatres (the other being the Théâtre de la Ville) built on the site of a châtelet, a small castle or fortress, it was designed by Gabriel Davioud at the request of Baron Haussmann between 1860 and 1862. Originally built with 3,000 seats, it was named the Théâtre Impérial du Châtelet, but has undergone remodeling and name changes over the years. Currently it seats 2,500 people.
The theatre is one of two apparent twins constructed along the quays of the Seine, facing each other across the open Place du Châtelet and its ornate fountain. The other is the Théâtre de la Ville (previously the Sarah Bernhardt). Their external architecture is essentially Palladian entrances under arcades, although their interior layouts differ considerably. At the centre of the plaza is a sphinx-endowed fountain, erected in 1808, which commemorates Napoleon‘s victory in Egypt.
The Théâtre du Châtelet was originally used for drama performances. Notably, beginning in April 1876, the stage version of Jules Verne‘s Around the World in Eighty Days, adapted by Verne and Adolphe d’Ennery, began a run spanning sixty-four years and 2195 performances (although not continuously). It was only the Nazi occupation of Paris in May 1940 that closed this production permanently.
Into the 20th Century, the theatre was used for operettas, variety and ballet performances, for classical and popular music concerts. It was also, for a time, a cinema. Regular seasons of opera and ballet were presented by a variety of impresarios, among them Gabriel Astruc, who introduced Diaghilev‘s Ballets Russes here. Igor Stravinsky’s Petrouchka received its premiere in the theatre on 13 June 1911, as did Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau’s Parade on 18 May 1917. In addition, many foreign composers and conductors made appearances in the theatre, including Tchaikovsky, Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss.
Since 1979, it has been operated by the City of Paris, and, after undergoing a major restoration, re-opened under the name of the Théâtre Musical de Paris in 1980. It was acoustically re-modeled again in 1989 and reverted to the Théâtre du Châtelet name. It is currently mainly used for opera performances and concerts.
Under the direction of Stéphane Lissner for four years from 1995, the theatre received additional improvements in acoustics and sightlines.
In recent years, the theatre has become the home of the Orchestre de Paris and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Since 1993 the Philharmonia Orchestra of London has an annual residency period. Shirley Horn recorded her 1992 live album I Love You, Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet.
- Allison, John (ed.), Great Opera Houses of the World, supplement to Opera Magazine, London 2003
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Published on Mar 8, 2012 by carrangeloperafan1
John Eliot Gardiner
Sir John Eliot Gardiner CBE FKC (born 20 April 1943, Fontmell Magna, Dorset, England) is an English conductor. He founded the Monteverdi Choir (1964), the English Baroque Soloists (1975) and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (1989). Gardiner has recorded over 250 albums with these and other musical ensembles, most of which have been published by Deutsche Grammophon and Philips Classics. Gardiner is most famous for his interpretations of Baroque music on period instruments with the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists, but his repertoire and discography are not limited to early music. With the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique Gardiner has performed a wide range of Classical and Romantic music, including many works of Hector Berlioz and all of Beethoven‘s symphonies. A recording of the third symphony of the latter was used in a dramatisation by the BBC of Beethoven’s writing of that symphony. Gardiner has served as chief conductor of the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra and has appeared as guest conductor with such major orchestras as the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Vienna Philharmonic.
Gardiner first took up the baton at the age of 15. He was educated at Bryanston School, and studied history and Arabic as an undergraduate at King’s College, Cambridge. He toured the Middle East conducting the Oxford and Cambridge Singers. During his time in Cambridge he founded, in 1964, his first musical ensemble, the Monteverdi Choir. With the Monteverdi Choir he made his conducting debut at the Wigmore Hall in London in 1966. To complement the Monteverdi Choir he formed the Monteverdi Orchestra in 1968, who played on modern instruments, but after changing to period instruments in 1977 they became known as the English Baroque Soloists. After graduating from King’s College, Cambridge, he studied at King’s College London under Thurston Dart, and with the influential French music professor Nadia Boulanger.
In 1969 Gardiner made his debut in the opera house with a performance of Mozart‘s The Magic Flute at the English National Opera. Four years later, in 1973, he first appeared at Covent Garden conducting Gluck‘s Iphigénie en Tauride. The English Baroque Soloists made their debut with him in the 1977 Innsbruck Festival of Early Music, performing Handel‘s Acis and Galatea on period instruments. His American debut came in 1979 when he conducted the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He then became the lead conductor of Canada’s CBC Vancouver Orchestra from 1980 to 1983.
After his period with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, Gardiner went to France. From 1983 to 1988 he was Music Director of the Opéra National de Lyon. During his period with the Opéra he founded an entirely new orchestra. During his time with the Opéra National de Lyon Gardiner was also Artistic Director of the Göttingen Handel Festival (1981 until 1990). In 1989 the Monteverdi Choir had its 25th anniversary, touring the world giving performances of Monteverdi‘s Vespro della Beata Vergine 1610. In 1990, Gardiner formed a new period-instrument orchestra, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, to perform music of the 19th century. From 1991 until 1994 he was principal conductor of the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra.
From the 1990s onwards he undertook more world tours with his ensembles, including:
- A European tour in 1993 with the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique featured Berlioz‘s rediscovered Messe solennelle. Beginning in Bremen, Germany the tour ended with a recorded performance in Westminster Cathedral, London 1993.
- In 2000, Gardiner set out on his Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, performing, over a 52-week period, all of Bach’s sacred cantatas in churches around Europe and the United States.
- In late 2004, Gardiner toured France and Spain with the Monteverdi Choir performing pieces from the Codex Compostelanus in cathedrals and churches along the Camino de Santiago.
Honours and awards
Gardiner has received a variety of honours and awards. In particular:
- Honorary doctorate from the University of Lyon, 1987
- Commander of the Order of the British Empire, 1990 New Year Honours
- Honorary Fellow of King’s College and the Royal Academy of Music, 1992
- Grammy, Best Choral Performance, 1994
- Knight Bachelor, 1998
- Grammy, Best Opera Recording, 1999
- Doctorate Honoris Causa in Musicology at the University of Cremona (birthplace of Claudio Monteverdi), 2006
- Bach Prize of the Royal Academy of Music–Kohn Foundation, 2008
- Voted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame in 2012
Gardiner is the son of the British rural revivalist Rolf Gardiner, and the grandson of the Egyptologist Alan Henderson Gardiner. He was married to violinist Elizabeth Wilcock from 1981 to 1997; they have three daughters. In 2001 he married Isabella de Sabata, granddaughter of conductor Victor de Sabata. In his spare time, Gardiner runs an organic farm at Springhead in North Dorset, which was set up by his great uncle, composer Henry Balfour Gardiner.
- Monteverdi Productions website, retrieved 2007-05-17
- “Ian Hart is Beethoven in unique drama of the first performance of the Eroica Symphony” (Press release). BBC. 15 May 2003. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
- CBC Radio Orchestra, retrieved 2007-05-17
- The Opera House Orchestra, archived from the original on December 3, 2006, retrieved 2007-05-17
- Göttingen Händelfestspiele (2007) (PDF), A Brief History of the Göttingen Händelfestspiele, archived from the original on June 15, 2007, retrieved 2007-05-17.
- Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, retrieved 2007-05-17
- Berlioz: Messe solennelle, retrieved 2007-05-17
- Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, retrieved 2007-05-17
- Santiago Pilgrimage 2004 Website, retrieved 2007-05-17
- John Eliot Gardiner (Bio), retrieved 2007-05-17
- London Gazette: . 29 December 1989. Retrieved 2007-12-12.
- Grammy Award Winners, retrieved 2007-05-17
- London Gazette: . 14 September 1999. Retrieved 2008-12-05.
- “Sir John Eliot Gardiner (conductor)”. Gramophone. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
- John Eliot Gardiner – gewend zijn eigen beslissingen te nemen (Dutch), archived from the original on October 1, 2006, retrieved 2007-05-17
- Springhead Trust
- Soli Deo Gloria (record label), Gardiner’s label, the name of which is taken from Bach’s signature.
- Monteverdi Productions
- Concordance covering all Bach’s vocal works recorded by John Eliot Gardiner
- musicOMH.com: Interview with John Eliot Gardiner
- Goldberg Magazine: Interview with John Eliot Gardiner
- YouTube video of Gardiner directing the opening chorus of the first cantata in J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248
|Music Director, Opéra National de Lyon
|Chief Conductor, North German Radio Symphony Orchestra