Through Toulouse editorial office
By entrusting his production to one of the most talented directors but also the most divisive of the French scene, Christophe Ghristi we offer a show in more than one Dantesque capacity.
Toulouse news met him to discuss this opening show of the 2021-2022 season of the Théâtre du Capitole (not recommended for under 16s). Sensitive souls refrain !
“It’s a brilliant and crazy work”
News: The superb and historic Elektra, which closed last season, reassured us about the health of the Théâtre du Capitole. You have gathered your teams this summer for the opening of the season. Comment have you found them?
Christophe Ghristi: First of all, I am happy that you speak like this about this Elektra. Historical, I believe it was indeed. At the last moment, we managed to capture it and the film, currently being edited, will remain. Then there was our Summer Nights, an impromptu festival, where our strengths shone and where the public responded with enthusiasm. We have indeed arrived at the start of the school year.
We are opening the season with a huge job and the teams are very important. “Gioconda” is notably a choir work and I am happy that he can find the stage again and play as well as sing. We are obviously still in the hot seat with these constantly evolving protocols, but we have to live with them.
“The production is spectacular”
Why include “Gioconda” in the repertoire of the Capitol?
Christophe Ghristi: Because it is a masterpiece. I didn’t decide on the programmer because it had never been given on Capitol Hill, but because it’s a great and crazy work as I like them. There is also the opportunity of this co-production with the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels.
It was Olivier Py who told me about this project, which was then just starting out, and I jumped at the chance. We were far enough upstream for Pierre André Weitz, the scenographer and costume designer, to be able to tailor his decor to our set and our technical capacities. On arrival, the production is spectacular.
Few theaters dare to face such a work. What are the difficulties of such a challenge?
Christophe Ghristi: It is a work that requires a house in perfect working order. It’s a great show with choreography, chorus and mastery, and a very special cast: it requires six leading singers, in all ranges. As often, this production will be the scene of expected roles, like that of Violeta Urmana in Elektra.
This time, it is the great Ramon Vargas who will make his debut (finally!) At the Capitol and sing his first Enzo. And I am very happy to give a great role to the formidable French baritone Pierre Yves Pruvost. Judit Kutasi, our Laura, will undoubtedly be a revelation for our audience.
Finally, we are pleased to find Beatrice-Uria Monzon in a role that fits her like a glove and that she started in this production in Brussels. We must therefore have a stage up to the crazy demands of the score, directed by Roberto Rizzi Brignoli, a goldsmith in the field.
“Some scenes do not shrink from violence”
By inviting Olivier Py to the staging, you are found de facto with a moral obligation to advise against this show for those under 16 … Explain to us.
Christophe Ghristi: Today, with the violence with which we are drunk, it may seem curious to formulate this warning. But what happens on a stage has a very special force. With us, there is no screen, it’s live, flesh and soul.
We know that Olivier Py likes naked bodies on stage: they are perfectly suited here. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it but just point out that a few scenes do not shrink from violence.
This book is very dark and Olivier Py has not softened anything. At the same time, he exalted the flamboyance and the rare strength of this so special work. In a way, I wanted to say: absolutely come but you have been warned!
How does this production echo the play by Victor Hugo: “Angelo, tyran de Padoue”?
Christophe Ghristi: In a video visible on our site, Olivier Py declares that the libretto of “La Gioconda” is even superior to the play by Victor Hugo! It is true that it was written by an immense artist, one of the pivotal points in the history of opera in Italy: Arrigo Boito.
Great composer, we were to give his opera Mefistofele last season. We will find him soon. As we know, Boito was also a librettist for Verdi, extremely demanding in terms of libretto. It is terrible.
You remember the name of a collection of plays by Victor Hugo, which is called “Le Théâtre en liberté”. This freedom is at its peak in Gioconda, a work that dares everything and that you have to have the courage to follow to the end, which Olivier Py does brilliantly, and, one could say, naturally. We are very lucky to be able to show this show at the Capitol!
Has this article been useful to you? Note that you can follow Actu Toulouse in the Mon Actu space. In one click, after registration, you will find all the news of your favorite cities and brands.