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3 questions for Jean-Louis Grinda, Director of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo


The program has met with huge success, have your objectives for the last three years been achieved?

My goals were numerous: firstly to play on the advantage that we have different opera performances with more works - that goal was reached. Secondly to fill the halls with additional performances – evidence of that success is that all records of revenue and attendance have been exceeded, including the overall total revenue from ticket sales, which has become an important part in balancing the budget.

The other goal, which we succeeded at meeting, was to revisit the great opera repertoire. My main objective was to demonstrate that this theatre can also perform full-length operas. The exceptional qualities of the room are obvious: the acoustics, the magnificence setting and the proximity of the audience to the stage. Now, following on from these successes, I have set other objectives.

From next season we are embarking on a new creative policy. My hope is to create an opera studio that can be woven into Monaco’s cultural fabric and to position the Opera de Monte Carlo firmly on the cultural agendas of young, international, artistic people. I am grateful to Rolex and Friends of the Opera who invest generously and allow us to present new productions. I’m delighted with the synergy between the Opera, the Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ballet. HSH Prince Albert II and HSH Princess Caroline realise the important place culture holds in the Principality and its importance for the future.

What is the main vein for this season, the theme of which is «Enlightenment» and how does the choice of Turandot for the National Day celebrations play a part?
I called this season ‘Enlightenment’ because it could be considered the century of Enlightenment: ‘The Marriage of Figaro by Beaumarchais, the revelation we get from music by Puccini and, above all, the cognisance from the Mediterraneum, which engulfs our theatre. The innovation of electric light was the greatest revolution that opera experienced in the early 20th century. Today, this gift is placed in the hands of great artists and gives meaning and strength to new performances of works in the repertoire.

How do you see the future of the Monte-Carlo Opera?
I view the future positively but cautiously, the onus is on me to be ambitious with our plans. However, we are dependent, like all cultural players, on funds given to us and we must demonstrate our capacity to best use them. That’s doesn’t mean that we should fill the seats at any price. But we should ensure that the Principality is proud of the work we do and of the image that the opera imparts to the image that Monaco holds overall. I am not worried about attendance figures, and I am not concerned about our ability to attract great singers: they know our work and love our theatre. I do remain mindful of the economic turmoil that the world is currently experiencing, which could have an effect on our plans. However, I firmly believe that one cannot achieve great things with small goals. Our job is to know how far one can go too far.

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Last updated: July 5, 2010 (02:19) Copyright © 2018 Service Informatique du Ministère d'Etat www.gouv.mc