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Presentation of the 43rd edition 2024

Edito 2024

Ever faithful to Handel, Beaune, the Haendelian festival par excellence, presents two of his most famous operas: Alcina and Rinaldo conducted respectively by Stéphane Fuget and Thibault Noally, two conductors who made their operatic debuts thanks to the Festival. Alcina, a fairytale opera, is packed with arias, each more brilliant and virtuosic than the last, such as the deeply moving ‘Ah, mio cor’, full-bodied and heart-rending, the swirling and jubilant ‘Tornami a vagheggiar’ and, the work’s absolute climax, the incantation to the shadows ‘Ombre pallide’.

Rinaldo, Handel’s first opera written for the London stage, contains some of his most beautiful arias, such as the famous ‘Cara sposa’ and ‘Lascia ch’io pianga’, which have gone down in history. Another moment to marvel at is Vivaldi’s Tamerlano, a veritable pasticcio with numerous arias borrowed from his other works (Giustino, Farnace)… a succession of virtuoso pyrotechnics, such as ‘Qual guerriero’, in which we are delighted to welcome back one of the Festival’s regulars, the talented Italian conductor Ottavio Dantone. With Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice by Les Arts Florissant, conducted by Paul Agnew, we’re already on the edge of classical music, embodied in the famous and poignant ‘J’ai perdu mon Eurydice’. But the Beaune International Baroque and Romantic Opera Festival also has a special place for rarities:

We’ll be celebrating the Olympic Games in our own way with the young Valentin Tournet, who will be presenting an unpublished opera by Colin de Blamont, Les Fêtes Grecques et Romaines.

The famous countertenor Andreas Scholl, a regular guest in Beaune since 1994, performs motets by Frantisek Tuma, an 18th-century Czech composer, with Roman Valek’s Czech Baroque Ensemble for the first time in France.

We will also be attending two coronations:

  • In Venice, that of Doge Grimani, the 1595 ceremony brought back to life by Paul McCreesh and his Gabrieli Consort and Players, playing the works of the two Gabrieli : Andrea and his nephew Giovanni. In London, the famous Coronation anthems, great works full of strength and joy, composed by Handel for the coronation of King George II, under the jubilant direction of Hervé Niquet.
  • A festival tradition: the unmissable recitals of young virtuoso voices : the luminous coloratura soprano Jodie Devos, and the brilliant countertenor Carlo Vistoli, whom I discovered as a juror at the Renata Tebaldi Competition in San Marino, and who has since enjoyed a triumphant career.

Another exceptional voice, to open the festival, is that of Stéphanie d’Oustrac in the company of Jérémie Rhorer, in famous pieces by Mozart, Gluck, Berlioz, Saint Saens…

And, for a return to the spirituality of Bach, Laurence Equilbey’s magnificent programme «From the Abyss to the Light» takes us irresistibly to the summits.

Anne Blanchard – Hassissi
Artistic Director and co-founder of the Festival


In addition to the presentation by our Artistic Director and Founder, Anne BLANCHARD, the Board of Directors of the Association Guillaume DUFAY would like to thank all those who have made it possible for the 42nd Beaune International Baroque and Romantic Opera Festival to be presented to you. The City of Beaune, of course, as well as the Burgundy-Franche Comté Region, the Ministry of Culture through the Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles, and the Département de la Côte d’Or. We would also like to extend our special thanks to the Hospices Civils de Beaune for their hospitality and patronage, and to the Beaune Parish Church and Basilica, which is also the ideal venue for our concerts. Other partners are also at our side, whose acronyms you will find at the end of this booklet. Many thanks to them and to our loyal volunteers, some of whom have been with us since the beginning … forty-two years ago!

Anne BLANCHARD, who with Kader HASSISSI has discovered and introduced us to so many singers, ensembles and conductors in the baroque and romantic repertoire, from the best-known works to absolute rarities. How many artists are indebted to him for the renown they now enjoy! It is with particular gratitude that we approach this 42nd Festival, the last to be “set to music” by Anne BLANCHARD, who will be leaving us at the end of July. We are certain that this gratitude for the joys she has brought them will be shared by all music lovers; just as she will remain for all of us “THE” founder of the Festival.

But the adventure goes on, despite the pain we all felt nearly two years ago, after Kader’s sudden death, and Anne’s handover today. The Association has taken the time to reflect in depth on the organisation of the Festival, which has led to the recruitment of a General Delegate. We are delighted to welcome Maximilien HONDERMARCK, currently Head of Cabinet to the Director General of the Directorate General of Heritage and Architecture (DGPA) at the Ministry of Culture, secretary of an association running an early music festival in Normandy, music journalist… and singer as a tenor soloist or chorister. At the age of 32, he has taken on the role of Festival Director with dynamism and determination, contributing to the Festival’s renown. The path mapped out by the two founders will obviously be continued, while evolving in new artistic directions and developing the cultural project for the region and its audiences that we are all so attached to.

We wish you a wonderful 42nd Festival and look forward to seeing you in 2025 for the 43rd!

The Board of Directors
of the Guillaume DUFAY Association

Our partners

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