The Grand Tour: A Space for the Arts

The “Grand Tour” starts the year in style and invites you to Chalon-sur-Saône: let’s celebrate Offenbach at the Espace des Arts with the Orchester National de France!

On January 9, 2023, the Orchester National de France will be on stage at the Espace des Arts in Chalon-sur-Saône, in Saône-et-Loire. The musicians of one of our four orchestras will be led by Enrique Mazzola and accompanied by two of the great voices of our time: soprano Patricia Pettibone and tenor Cyril Dubois.

Journey to the heart of the Second Empire! The program of this delightful concert is actually dedicated to Jacques Offenbach, with a bouquet of audio and video pages taken from Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, La Pericole, daughter of the Drum MajororHoffmann’s Tales. Offenbach … under the art of parody, the humor and insolence of his performances, reveal a high musical quality and … much emotion! The music of The King of Operetta is frantic, sparkling, nostalgic, creative and above all elegant. That’s all that awaits us on January 9th in Chalons-sur-Saone, in one of the seventy-six national stages located on French soil.


Music, dance, theatre…a multidisciplinary arts space

The Espace des Arts (EDA), directed by Nicolas Royer since January 2020, presents a program in which all artistic fields of live performance are represented. While booking a favorite venue for performances for young audiences, in theater and cinema, EDA provides a good venue for dancing and has managed to establish itself on a national level. World music, symphonic music and jazz concerts also permeate every season, in particular thanks to Les Utopiks festivals, TransDanses, etc. Not to mention the major circus and visual arts events, with sculptors, painters, photographers and visual artists. With creativity being at the heart of the project carried out by Espace des Arts (also a production and artist support company), many artists are welcomed there in residence. The venue envisions and supports many performances, up to two hundred per season, and continues to invite fine orchestral phalanxes, such as this appointment made with the Orchester National de France for this New Year’s concert.

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Newly refurbished (end of works in 2018), EDA celebrated its 50th anniversary. It was one of the first Houses of Culture built in France, in 1971, on the initiative of André Malraux, Minister of Cultural Affairs at the time. It became Espace des Arts in 1984 and was awarded the Scène Nationale label in 2006. The project, presented by Lyon-based urban planner Daniel Petit, was part of a major urban renewal. If architecture already had a special force at the time, born of the contrast between the inside and the outside – the formal brutality of the facades and the use of concrete against the refinement of the interior – then its new identity is about coexistence, reception and travel of the public much easier.

different spaces

Listed as a 20th Century Heritage Site in October 2009 and a Historic Monument since 2014, EDA offers four performance venues: Grand Espace with 900 seats (where the concert of interest to us will take place), Petit Espace with 250 seats, and Studio noir (80 seats). ) and the Piccolo (a small Italian-style theater in the heart of the city). The visual, acoustics and welcoming curves of the central courtyard were meticulously recreated during the recent renovation by the Franco-Belgian architecture firm Pierre Hebbelinck and L’Atelier HBAAT. Raising the building up the stage cage, designed to house the performers (with bedrooms, kitchen, reception area, etc.), was one of the most important operations on the site. It is a huge aluminum box with large windows, about forty meters high, offering a wonderful view. They stand for the Servant, you know… That night-light which, in all the theaters of the world, keeps lit when the place is empty… And which reassures in the dark. It is the spirit of theater that never dies and confirms the existence of Chalon-sur-Saone’s arts scene.

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Opening the year 2023 with the music of Offenbach played by the Orchester National de France heralds a new year full of humor, creativity, sadness, tenderness and foolishness. Let’s not spoil our fun, let’s be optimistic, let’s start the year with a happy frenzy… in Chalons-sur-Saone!

Gabriel Oliveira Guyon

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