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After a few instrumental pieces more or less inspired by the serial technique, in 1971 Georges Aperghis composed La Tragique histoire du nécromancien Hiéronimo et de son miroir, his first musical theater piece. With the Atelier Théâtre et Musique (ATEM) he founded in 1976, Aperghis renewed his practice as a composer and invented a new artistic form inspired by daily life, by societal events transposed in a poetic, often absurd and satiric, world where musicians, singers, actors, and artists meet as equals (La bouteille à la mer (1976), Conversations (1985), Commentaires (1996)). In 1997, he left ATEM but continued to write musical theater pieces (Machinations (2000), Paysage sous surveillance (2002), Luna Park (2011).

Georges Aperghis © Suzanne Doppelt

Georges Aperghis © Suzanne Doppelt

For concert music, he composed a series of instruments or solo voices (including Récitations, 1978), introducing theatrical elements, sometimes purely gestural. His catalogue of musical works is rich and varied, including pieces for chamber ensembles, orchestras, voice, or purely instrumental.

The third domain of his writing, opera, can be considered a synthesis of musical theater and concert music [Pandemonium based on the writings of Jules Verne in 1973, Liebestod based on a letter by Brentano to Goethe (1981), Tristes tropiques based on texts by Lévi-Strauss (1996), Les Boulingrin based on Georges Courteline (2010)].

Since the beginning of the 2000s, the distribution of Georges Aperghis’ work in three distinct domains has become more and more blurred by the very nature of the works. The oratorio Die Hamletmaschine (2001, text by Heiner Müller), the “monodrama” Dark Side (2004, based on Oresteia by Aeschylus), the opera Avis de tempête (2004), or Happiness Daily (2009) raise the questions of dramaturgy, representation, and of staging by illustrating the freedom with which Georges Aperghis plays with the classification of genres, of concerts, of theater.

A prolific composer, Georges Aperghis constructs, with never-ending invention, a very personal oeuvre: serious and stamped with humor, attached to tradition and free from institutional constraints, he knows how to open lively and simple unexpected horizons to his performers, to skillfully reconcile sound and visual, to grasp subjects that are a part of the tragic or the derisory of his époque.

    Related Events

  • Luna Park
  • In Vivo Théâtre musical
    July 2, 8:00 pm
  • Luna Park
    June 15, 8:30 pm
  • Un temps bis
    June 12, 7:30 pm | June 13, 8:30 pm | June 14, 8:30 pm | June 15, 3:00 pm