— At the Festival — Passerelles

Published on January 26 2016

Meeting with Christophe Honoré

Christophe Honoré
© Jean-Louis Fernandez

A memorable evening for the Opéra ON youths and the Club Campra patrons

On 19 January, the stage of the Théâtre de l’Archevêché played host to an exceptional meeting with one of the leading personalities of the Festival d’Aix 2016: Christophe Honoré. This “opera-aperitif” was a great taster for Così fan tutte, which he will be staging next summer.

His first visit to the Festival d’Aix and his first Mozart production: for Christophe Honoré, this Così fan tutte will have a real “first-time freshness”, echoing both the central theme of the opera – the awakening of desire – and the elective affinities of this multi-faceted artist. “I like to focus on a trembling, a wavering, rather than on mastering a situation. This approach, which is not unlike the way a teenager operates, is to be found throughout my work whether in the opera, the theatre or the cinema ...”. Before an audience of around one hundred people who had gathered for the occasion, the director explained his vision for Così, which he will transpose to colonial Eritrea under Mussolini so that it becomes a place where we can ponder our relationship with the other – the stranger.

The cinema connection was reflected in several questions from the audience, who knew Christophe Honoré mainly through his films. More accustomed to the film set than the opera house, he was quite open about the fact that some aspects of his approach to the staging owed something to his experience as a filmmaker.


As with the films I make, I’m very demanding when it comes to the realistic details; maybe not so much for the audience’s sake as for the actors’ – to provide them with a special atmosphere.

Christophe Honoré

From shots for the final cut, through Antonioni to Depardon, a number of cinema references came up during the meeting ... even going as far as using a famous scene from Band of Outsiders (Bande à part) by Jean-Luc Godard as an image for discovering a work of art - and consequently, the opera:


There are a hundred reasons for attending the performance. For some, it will be to listen; for others, it will be to see Così fan tutte as a high-speed chase through the Louvre Museum... 

Christophe Honoré

For several years now, the “opera-aperitif” has been one of the unmissable events of Opéra ON, the Festival’s youth programme. At each of these evenings, the public is invited to discover one of the works from the Festival programme. The event is held in a different place with different arrangements each time, and ends with a friendly chat over a drink. For the first time, the students and young music lovers were joined by several Festival patrons from Club Campra. This club, comprising thirty regional companies who support the Festival and its work in the region, meets for the highlights of the year as part of the “Opera in business” pathway. Delighted with the experience, these entrepreneurs expressed their pleasure at discovering the programme from a new angle, mingling with a young, enthusiastic audience. Definitely an experience to be repeated!


I’ve never been to the opera, but this evening was really interesting and it made me want to see the performance, to take part in Opéra ON workshops, to be an extra... I’d like to do it all! 

Bastien, who is enrolled on the Opéra ON programme.


I enjoyed Christophe Honoré’s warm, friendly approach. This meeting gave us a good insight into the artistic career behind his staging of the opera. 

Frédérique Paix (Roland Paix Traiteur), patron and Club Campra member