Thursday, July 7, 2011

Saint François d'Assise done differently

I am more than sorry for not being able to go to Madrid and attend one of the five shows of Saint François d'Assise taking place at the Madrid Arena, prepared by Teatro Real and --always opened to various kinds of art-forms-- Gérard Mortier.

A huge installation for this happening --a 22 tons heavy dome!-- is a creation by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov - no less!

So, one of the most significant cultural events in Europe this year, in which the spectacular meets creative and  extravagant, opened last night in Madrid [in presence of Queen Sofia of Spain], with our fave Alejandro Marco Buhrmester singing the title role.  Other shows are scheduled for July 8, 10, 11, and 13.

Mortier wrote a brilliant article published in El Paìs which is a must-read!

It is maybe not the right moment to say it, but even though I'm happy for Madrid to have grandly boosted their cultural and artistic offer, it is kinda sad to see the Paris Opera stone-falling artistically since Mortier left it two years ago. Oh well...

A short trailer with Kabakovs below:

Alejandro Marco Buhrmester


  1. I would have loved to go there too, even if Madrid in summer is definitely not for me. I'm going to the Munich Saint François instead, on Sunday, but I'm not sure to like what Hermann Nitsch does with the work.
    BTW, the Kabakov production is not new, Mortier made it first at the Ruhrtriennale - where I missed it too. Maybe sometimes a 3rd station for this production?

  2. It's work that keeps me from going to Madrid to see this event. Lucky you for being able to go and see the Munich show. I believe you have a trouble with naked bodies. Whenever there is a naked body in any show, you'd find a way to call it vulgar or not good. Oh well, hang ups are hang ups are hang ups ;)
    That being said, I am not fan of Nitsch either. Nagano, Gay and Schäffer should be great though.

    I read it somewhere that Kabakovs did a similar job in Ruhr, but the installation is now different, the computer job is much more present nowadays...

    BTW, Kabakov will present a bunch of their installations next fall at Grand Palais.

  3. I went to the Munich show yesterday, and I wish I had gone to Madrid instead! The Munich version was set up as a competition between two extremely different artistic visions: Messiaen vs Nitsch. Although Messiaen turned out to win in the end, the 50 year old Nitsch stuff was a big distraction most of the time, and lead to big disappointments...

  4. I also went to the Munich performance and it was great as long as you kept your eyes closed... for it was both disgusting and juvenile.