Discover France and Spain, Issue 13, March 2020

Page 62

Tugan Sokhiev. Photo: Marco Borggreve

Flying the flag for Franco-Russian relations in Toulouse Since Peter the Great first visited Versailles in 1717, the friendship between France and Russia has endured, despite tumultuous changes in both nations. Now, more than three centuries later, one of France’s most prestigious orchestras – the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse – is staging a major season celebrating this ‘grande amitié’ (great friendship). TEXT: EDDI FIEGEL  |  PHOTOS: TOULOUSE METROPOLE


fter a phenomenally successful debut season in 2019, Toulouse Orchestra’s second FrancoRussian season will run from 10 March to 3 April 2020, with the orchestra’s musical director at the helm – Russian star conductor Tugan Sokhiev. Sokhiev has been director of the Toulouse Orchestra for more than 15 years and is also the musical director and principal conductor of Moscow’s internation62  |  Issue 13  |  March 2020

ally renowned Bolshoi Theatre, so is perfectly placed to mastermind the combined programme of works from the two countries.

Cross-fertilisation of cultures “The idea behind the season,” says Thierry d’Argoubet, general delegate of l’Orchestre National du Capitole, “is to encourage dialogue between the two cultures of France and Russia, and also to celebrate our mu-

sical heritage. We want Toulouse to become the focus and a meeting point for a meeting and cross-fertilisation of cultures, and we also want to extend this historic partnership and relationship to incorporate new participants, be they local, regional or international.” With this in mind, the season will not only feature the Toulouse Orchestra as well as numerous international artists, but also the choir of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Similarly, with a view to extending the season’s repertoire, there will also be eight chamber music concerts in addition to the Orchestra’s performance of symphonic works.

New talent There will also be an emphasis on bringing the stars of tomorrow to today’s audi-