Victoires de la Musique Classique 2012

Manoury, also on the faculty at the University of California,
San Diego, was influenced by Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen and is one
of France’s most respected composers.

The opera’s world premiere, on September 24 at the Opera National du Rhin
in Strasbourg, was well received by the audience and critics. It is a story of
an old derelict who lives on the streets of modern day Strasbourg and calls
himself Gutenberg. Could he be the same Johannes Gutenberg whose invention of
movable type changed the world more than 500 years earlier in this very same

This writer was also there that evening and can report that the opera is
based on late 20th Century composition techniques but always includes emotion,
elegance and momentum. A young people’s chorus, with kids listening, talking
or texting with their phones, was only one of the musical highlights. With
flashbacks, it told the story of Gutenberg and his struggles in life. The opera
was at once engaging as storytelling and powerful as music. Staged sparsely and
effectively by Yoshi Oida and conducted by Daniel Klajner it was an evening of
splendid vocal accomplishment. Bass Nicolas Cavallier sang the title role with
Eve-Maud Hubeaux as his new friend and the fine coloratura of MÈlanie Boisvert
as the provocative “Hostess” of an internet cafe. Click
here for a report (in French) on television channel Arte gives samples of the

The Victoires de la Musique Classique, an awards show similar to the
Classical Grammy Awards, features RenÈe Fleming as honored guest and
spotlighted such singers as soprano Natalie Dessay, countertenor Philippe
Jaroussky, soprano Nathalie Manfrino, contralto Nathalie Stutzmann, soprano
Julia Lezhneva along with other classical artists. It is
available for internet viewing this week here

Frank Cadenhead

product_title=Victoires de la Musique Classique 2012
product_by=By Frank Cadenhead