Opéra de Lausanne
A cultural institution located in the heart of Lausanne since 1871. It’s become an emblematic institution in French-speaking Switzerland, contributing to its cultural influence.
Since its renovation in 2012, the Opéra de Lausanne has equipped its stage with the most advanced technologies, and offers a diversified choice of operas, concerts and ballets each season, showcasing a repertoire that spans from the 17th to the 21st centuries, from Monteverdi to Levinas. This diversity, as well as the artistic and vocal level of its international singers, ensures a dynamism and recognition that confirms the Opéra de Lausanne’s renown, and is reinforced by the rebroadcasts and diffusion of its productions, which are often acclaimed.
The Opéra de Lausanne is also known for its annual programming of a true opera for young audiences. In addition to the discovery of the operatic world offered annually to more than 2,000 students, it has a proactive policy of professionally integrating young graduates of the HEMu and HEMGe. In 2010, the Opéra de Lausanne created the Lyric Road, a unique decentralisation operation that takes place in the summer in the French-speaking region and allows distant audiences to enjoy quality opera performances.
A Bit of History
In Lausanne, opera has long been a defining feature of the cultural scene, reflecting the desire of Lausanne’s citizens for theatre, and not just music.
Voltaire was already praising the curiosity of the Lausanne public and was delighted with the reception given to his theatrical works. In its new building, the modern Opéra de Lausanne, with the strength of its heritage, is dedicated to preserving the repertoire, as well as showcasing and commissioning works for a wide audience including its youngest fans.
world-class performances and productions that are at the same time renewed and respectful of the operas presented.
Co-productions with other major theatres have made it possible to create spectacular scenographic productions allowing maximal use of the modern technical equipment installed when the theatre was renovated in 2012. The recognition of these productions is reflected both in the returning attendance of the public each season and in the co-production of a number of recordings, television broadcasts, and live streaming whether with Arte Concert, Mezzo, or the RTS.
Just as much a part of its area of activity, the Opéra de Lausanne encourages the writing and publishing of works dealing with Lausanne’s musical history over the past centuries. The editorial focus is combined with a strategy of commissioning operas from contemporary composers, such as Michaël Levinas, in order to spark and capture the interest of the young public in the operatic art.
The Choir of the Opéra de Lausanne is a young choir, comprising both vocal students from the Hautes Ecoles de musique romandes, Hemu and HemGe, and professional singers.
The experience acquired at the Opéra de Lausanne often allows new graduates to pursue a career that at times brings them back to Lausanne. Its members are selected by audition and are periodically reheard. They are carefully chosen for each opera according to their voice and/or aptitudes, as well as their stage presence. With their contagious enthusiasm, they are highly appraised by invited Directors.
Members benefit from several years of training under the direction of a number of dynamic expert Choir Directors from different disciplines, who are selected according to the works performed and their specific qualities.
President, Foundation Council
It is an honour and a pleasure for me to be able to contribute to the sound governance of our fine Opéra de Lausanne. I would like to express my gratitude first of all to Mr. André Hoffmann, who over the past few years has largely and generously helped to boost our lyrical institution’s reputation and notoriety.
A reputation that has been earned; with the help of his teams, the quality and courage of Eric Vigié’s programming, which is comprised of new productions, risks and key values, are recognised beyond our borders. This artistic dimension is accompanied by competent management and administration, which I have already been able to appreciate.
The 2019-2020 season is no exception: one creation and no less than three new productions are set to open at your Opera, not to mention great classics of comedy and discovery, concerts and a ballet, all of the highest quality. This delightful programme will have something for everyone.
I also wish to thank our many subscribers and spectators for their support and interest, as well as all the theatre’s employees for their unwavering commitment and spirited passion.
Lastly, and because without them nothing would be possible, I would like to express my deepest thanks to all our public and private partners, patrons and sponsors for their loyalty and their contribution to the reputation of the Opéra de Lausanne.
Director, Opéra de Lausanne
Our summer season begins with the traditional Lyric Road. For the first time it will enchant everyone in the French-speaking part of Switzerland with the welcome, medieval absurdity of Les chevaliers de la Table ronde by Hervé, the inventor of the operetta. After his Mam’zelle Nitouche in January, Hervé’s second masterpiece should persuade you to come and discover more about the knights and their protector Merlin.
With 2019 celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of Offenbach (Hervé’s great friend), we will open the season with a new production of Les contes d’Hoffmann, as imagined by Stefano Poda. Expect dreams and fantasy… as well as the voices! To end the year, the phenomenal actor and comedian Michel Fau will produce a Belle Hélène that is not to be missed.
At the start of the year and for the first time at the Opéra de Lausanne, we have two rarities to offer you: one of the most famous zarzuelas from the Spanish repertoire, Doña Francisquita, and Candide (based on Voltaire) by Leonard Bernstein, created on Broadway in 1956.
To conclude, we will present our unforgettable L’elisir d’amore from 2012 with a new cast that includes Valentina Nafornita whom we are delighted to welcome back.
Contributing to this season will be two tremendous concerts with original programmes, and an impressive ballet creation under the auspices of Cizco Aznar and the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza in Madrid, not to mention the return of the Béjart Ballet Lausanne.
One of our season’s highlights is a lyric creation about the last days of Major Davel’s life. I hope that this as yet unseen opera will occupy a special place in the musical culture of Vaud and put under the spotlight of our stage a slice of history that deserves to be remembered by future generations.
Finally, I would like to make a few comments about our season’s poster campaign. After the mini polemic surrounding the centenary of L’Histoire du soldat and its critics, we have decided to use it by parodying certain operas with caustic and surrealist librettos, thereby devoting this new season to the ‘scandal’… A scandalous season!