Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Andromaque, Grétry...

I already mentioned here André Grétry, an 18th century Belgian-born French composer, who's sometimes called le Mozart français -- sort of equivalent to what's Vicente Martín y Soler in Spain. Grétry was also known as Marie-Antoinette's personal fave.

This year, Opéra Comique in Paris produced one Grétry's opera, and quite honestly, I wasn't impressed at all. I guess I expected too much after having listened to his other opera called Andromaque, in October 2009 at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. I liked Andromaque because the music was pretty and interesting, the story pushed me to read more carefully the equally named tragedy by Jean Racine, on which the opera is based (wiki summary can be found here)... so the whole experience was enriching. In contrario, L'amant jaloux was a silly bore ;)

"La douleur d'Andromaque" (1783) by Jacques Louis David, Louvre (Paris)*

Now, almost the same production team who performed that Andromaque in concert in October 2009, directed by Georges Lavaudant, supplemented a scenic part and the full opera was presented  at the festival in Schwetzingen (Germany) in April 2010. The same show now arrived to Montpellier (South of France), where it was premiered last night...

Why am I prattling about that? Because the tonight's performance of Andromaque,  July 13 - 2010, will be live radio broadcast starting from 20:00 (Paris time) on this link, and it will be available for free listening for 30 7 days.

Hervé Niquet will conduct the Concert Spirituel orchestra and a cast that includes Judith van Wanroij, Maria Riccarda Wesseling, Sébastien Guèze, Tassis Christoyannis and others.

Speaking of Grétry, I spotted recently in Brussels a small street in plain center of the city carrying his name. Here is proof ;)

In Paris too there is one "Rue Grétry", near the Opéra Comique...

(*) Even though neoclassicism is not my favorite style, I like some of David's paintings -- Andromaque being one of them. My favorite David is "La Mort de Socrate" that you should see if you decide to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York one of these days...


  1. That's it, Opera Cake: I am officially(oops, anonymously) announcing that you are yummy (oops again, your blog is)!

    Thanks for all the links you have provided. I also appreciate your detailed and interesting reviews (I am tired of some professional reviewers' "hit-and run" approach, which you politely described as "lazy")