Paris fears for fate of theatre that added chic to pop culture
Preberi besedilo, v katerem manjka 10 delov povedi. V spodnjem naboru A-J izberi ustrezen del povedi za vsako manjkajoče mesto (1-10). Odgovore (črke) zapiši na črto poleg številke.
When Jean-Luc Choplin took over more than a decade ago as director general of Paris’s Théatre du Châtelet – (1__) – heckling from the French press was deafening.
Some critics, surprised and outraged, nicknamed him Mickey – after the cartoon mouse – (2 __). Le Monde accused Choplin of being scandalously lowbrow and a “dangerous defender of the entertainment world”, a purveyor of entertainment rather than culture.
The Châtelet had hosted some of (3 __), including Vaslav Nijinsky, Anna Pavlova, Debussy, Ravel, Erik Satie, Tchaikovsky, Mahler and Richard Strauss. But it was in a city that already had two major opera houses and it could not compete.
Choplin, who grew up on a housing estate in the Paris banlieues, (4 __), offering works that were both popular and sophisticated, attracting new, different audiences with an eclectic programme (5 __), ballet to rap and even standup comedy. The keystone of that programme would be what at the time was sniffily considered to be a lower form of art: the American comédie musicale.
“People were horrified. They said, ‘You cannot do musicals, this will be a complete catastrophe’, and pointed out that (6 __). It was a risk, but I felt I had to try,” Choplin, 65, told the Guardian last year.
Today, as he enters his 11th and final season at the Châtelet before the theatre closes for two years (7 __), no one remembers Choplin’s cartoon nickname. Instead the theatre director is now known as the Châtelet Enchanter, the musical magician who (8 __) but gave the popular comédie musicale a sophisticated French polish and sent it back to New York to critical acclaim and awards.
His An American in Paris, co-produced with Broadway, won four Tony awards in the US and the Châtelet’s production last year of Singin’ in the Rain will open on Broadway this year. Other popular musicals – My Fair Lady, Kiss Me Kate, The Sound of Music – have been sellouts.
“We took pieces that could be considered as simply commercial (9 __). We created the haute couture musical, using a full symphonic orchestra and impressive decors, treating musicals like operas in the hope that these great compositions might be rightfully recognised for their true value,” Choplin told France Today.
The highlights of Choplin’s final year (10 __). On Wednesday Carmen La Cubana, a Cuban version of Bizet’s opera, opens, followed by the contemporary dance work Auf dem Gebirge hat man ein Geschrei Gehört (On the Mountain a Cry Was Heard). In early summer, Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn – whose pop opera Monkey: Journey to the West brought singers, acrobats and martial artists to the stage in 2007 – will bring Wonder.land, his version of Alice in Wonderland, to the theatre.
Choplin’s musical swansong will be the music and dance extravaganza 42nd Street, programmed to run from the end of this year, when his successor will be named. He will then exit the stage and his vast office, with its spectacular view of the Seine, to reportedly “spend more time with my grandchildren”.
(Adapted from The Guardian, 3 April 2016)
A for essential renovations
B because he once worked for Disney
C the most celebrated international artists
D reflect his “sophisticated entertainment” approach
E was determined to make the theatre more accessible
F not only brought Broadway to the boulevards
G ranging from the classic to the contemporary
H one of the city’s temples to high culture
I others had tried before and it had always been a flop
J and treated them as art