Evian Rencontres Musicales 2023
26th - 30th June 2023
On 29th June, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe is thrilled to perform again with world-renowned Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel with whom they had recorded Don Giovanni under the direction of Claudio Abbado back in 1997. Bryn Terfel then held the role of Leporello alongside an all-star cast included Simon Keenlyside, Matti Salminen, Carmela Remigio, Uwe Heilmann, Soile Iskoski, Ildebrando d’Arcangelo and Patrizia Pace. This year in Evian, he will sing works by Beethoven, Mozart, Verdi and Wagner, with the Orchestra in full voice in performance of Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, Rossini’s Overture to Semiramide and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8.
It is always with great pleasure for the COE musicians to work with conductor Robin Ticciati who has developed an important artistic connection to the Orchestra. Our last project together was in April when we travelled to France, Germany and Austria, joined by violinist Lisa Batiashvili, another great friend of the Orchestra. We will be together with Robin again in the autumn with concerts at Bonn’s Beethovenfest and at the Kronberg Academy Festival. To hear Robin talking about his experience with the COE, please click on the video below.
La Grange au Lac was born of a very strong friendship, linking Antoine Riboud, then CEO of BSN (future Danone group) to the world-class cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. In Évian, the music-loving entrepreneur founded a classical music festival and offered the artistic direction to his friend “Slava”, who made it a major event in French, then European, musical life. It has since become an unmissable meeting place for the greatest artists.
Twenty-nine years ago, Antoine Riboud decided to provide the festival with a new hall. Rostropovich had seen Menuhin’s tent in Gstaad, and dreamed of building one in wood: it was this architectural and acoustic challenge that Antoine Riboud put to the iconoclastic architect Patrick Bouchain. With the acoustician Yaying Xu, Patrick Bouchain took up the challenge of building this “wooden tent” with 1,100 places in record time (eight months of work), major constraints (not digging into the rock that protects the Evian water spring, or cut down a tree), difficult conditions (sloping ground, winter months) and a limited budget (ten million francs).
Inaugurated on May 20, 1993 by the Minister of Culture Jacques Toubon, the room is made entirely of cedar and pine and with the intention to sound like the “inside of a cello”. In the background, the birches recall the homeland of “Slava”, the cellist whom this hall was dedicated to. It combines the luxury of crystal chandeliers with the frugality of wooden tiers. It is a simple barn, which one could discover by chance in the larch forest – but without doubt also one of the most beautiful concert halls in the world.
La Grange au Lac is an ever-evolving performing space. After having welcomed chamber music for a long time, it has been adapting its layout to enable performances of symphonic repertoire since November 2022. The COE is delighted to have been invited to perform for the first time at La Grange in this its thirtieth anniversary as part of the Rencontres Musicales d’Évian 2023.