Gounod gala: overtures and operatic airs by the Orchestre National de France, with Dreisig, Devos, Aldrich and Kang

Live video concerto from the Radio France Auditorium: the Orchestre National de France conducted by Jesko Sirvend performs opera overtures and airs by Gounod, alongside sopranos Elsa Dreisig and Jodie Devos, mezzo Kate Aldrich, and ténor Yosep Kang.

Auditorium de la Maison de la Radio

The Palazzetto Bru Zane is home to the Centre for French Romantic Music, aiming to highlight forgotten works and composers of the 19th century. For the closing of the festival, of which the Orchestre National de France is a sponsor, the  Palazzetto is invited to the Radio France Auditorium to perform excerpts from the operas of Gounod, whose bicentenary birthday is celebrated in 2018.

By saying "the composer of Faust", it would seem all has been said about Charles Gounod  (1818-1893). However, the composer left behind more masses than operas, dozens of sacred and profane choral works, hundreds of melodies and canticles, and numerous important instrumental sketches, of both a symphonic and more intimate nature.

Contrary to Ambroise Thomas, Massenet, Verdi or  Wagner, who saw no other path than that of the lyrical theater, Gounod shared the opinion of Berlioz and Saint-Saëns, that music, subservient to the adventures of the drama and subject to the demands of the singers and the public, was cruelly limited in its ability to flourish freely. But in France, at that time, as he recalled in his Memoirs of an Artist, "for a composer there is only one way to go to make a name for himself: the theater. The theater is a place in which we find constantly the opportunity and the means to speak to the public: it is a daily and permanent exhibition open to the performer. Religious and symphonic music are certainly of a superior nature, on the whole, to dramatic music; but the opportunities and the means to make themselves known there are rare and are concern only to an intermittent public, rather than a regular public like that of the theater. And what an infinite variety in the choice of subjects for a playwright! What a field of possibilities open to fantasy, imagination, history! "