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Brigitte Lefèvre to leave Paris Opera Ballet in 2014


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Brigitte Lefèvre, Director of Paris Opera Ballet is to retire in 2014. The only link found thus far is in French, from Le Figaro:

 

http://www.lefigaro.fr/culture/2012/09/28/03004-20120928ARTFIG00680-un-nouveau-directeur-pour-le-ballet-de-l-opera-de-paris.php

 

Inevitably, the article speculates on possible successors - Laurent Hilaire, Nicolas Le Riche and then on to Guillem, Forsythe, Ratmansky .... with Nureyev remaining the model.

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this is interesting " le Ballet assurant une partie considérable des recettes nécessaires aux productions lyriques."; that is to say "the ballet is responsible for a considerable part of the income required for the opera productions." So the ballet subsidizes the opera in Paris?

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Katherine: I stand to be corrected, but would not be at all surprised to find that the same thing happens here at the Royal Opera House. And I agree that the journalist concerned probably went into overdrive against an imminent deadline in suggesting names for a successor.

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I would definitely be interested to know if ballet subsidizes opera at the ROH. According to Zoe Anderson's history of the RB this was true from the immediate post-war years right through the sixties at least. Here in Canada everyone assumes that opera can make money while ballet is the poor relation. But the organizations are completely separate so one cannot subsidize the other The Cdn Opera Company does rely on the ballet to rent its opera house for a sizeable chunk of the year though.

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this is interesting " le Ballet assurant une partie considérable des recettes nécessaires aux productions lyriques."; that is to say "the ballet is responsible for a considerable part of the income required for the opera productions." So the ballet subsidizes the opera in Paris?

 

I shouldn't be at all surprised - after all, it is the ballet company which has the greater renown.

 

It's been known for some considerable time that Mme Lefèvre's tenure was coming to an end, so I'm wondering why Le Fig has picked up on this now, when the implication is that her successor will be named in March next year (or possibly earlier?). The headline "Un nouveau directeur pour le Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris" would seem to imply that one has been picked.

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this is interesting " le Ballet assurant une partie considérable des recettes nécessaires aux productions lyriques."; that is to say "the ballet is responsible for a considerable part of the income required for the opera productions." So the ballet subsidizes the opera in Paris?

 

I would have thought that the term 'productions lyriques' (lyric productions) in other words 'lyric theatre' refers to theatrical productions with music, that is both Ballet and Opera. In which case the Ballet yields a large part of the total income, which may be more or less than the Opera.

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I would have thought that the term 'productions lyriques' (lyric productions) in other words 'lyric theatre' refers to theatrical productions with music, that is both Ballet and Opera. In which case the Ballet yields a large part of the total income, which may be more or less than the Opera.

I'm pretty sure lyrique means "opera(tic)" in French. Tresor de la langue francaise:

1. Qui est mis en musique pour être chanté, joué sur une scène.

tiretgras.gif Art lyrique. Chant. Drame, théâtre lyrique. Synon. de opéra.

tiretgras.gif Comédie lyrique. Synon. opérette, opéra-comique.

tiretgras.gif Théâtre, scène lyrique. Théâtre où sont représentés les opéras, les opérettes.

a) Qui est propre à l'opéra. La déclamation lyrique a renoncé à tous les éléments de la mélodie (Arts et litt., 1935, p. 36-2).

B) Qui est relatif à l'opéra. L'État octroierait à une ville «une subvention annuelle d'au moins douze millions, au titre de la décentralisation lyrique» (Théâtres nat. Fr., 1954, p. 33).

c) [En parlant de pers.] Qui chante des opéras, des opérettes. Artiste lyrique. Artiste qui chante au théâtre ou au concert.

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In many German Opera Houses, the ballet companies have a better audience attendance than the opera (in percent), f.e. in Hamburg, Stuttgart, Dortmund, Karlsruhe and even in Berlin. Opera is also more expensive - famous singers earn much more than famous ballet dancers, also chorus singers earns more than dancers in the corps de ballet (at least in Germany), so this would explain how the ballet subsidizes the opera: better revenues, less expenses. Nevertheless, operas and plays get much more coverage in the newspapers :angry:

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I'm pretty sure lyrique means "opera(tic)" in French. Tresor de la langue francaise:

1. Qui est mis en musique pour être chanté, joué sur une scène.

tiretgras.gif Art lyrique. Chant. Drame, théâtre lyrique. Synon. de opéra.

tiretgras.gif Comédie lyrique. Synon. opérette, opéra-comique.

tiretgras.gif Théâtre, scène lyrique. Théâtre où sont représentés les opéras, les opérettes.

a) Qui est propre à l'opéra. La déclamation lyrique a renoncé à tous les éléments de la mélodie (Arts et litt., 1935, p. 36-2).

B) Qui est relatif à l'opéra. L'État octroierait à une ville «une subvention annuelle d'au moins douze millions, au titre de la décentralisation lyrique» (Théâtres nat. Fr., 1954, p. 33).

c) [En parlant de pers.] Qui chante des opéras, des opérettes. Artiste lyrique. Artiste qui chante au théâtre ou au concert.

 

 

I'm sure you're right about this, toursenlair. POB do distinguish between 'les spectacles lyriques' and 'les spectacles chorégraphiques' in their literature. In English we don't seem to talk about opera as 'a lyric production' so much. It is a bit strange, though, that the article implies that the Ballet subsidises the Opera. In the POB annual report they provide countless analyses of various statistics, but no attempt is made to break down income and expenditure between Ballet and Opera. So too in the Royal Opera House report this analysis is avoided as far as I can see.

.

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It is a bit strange, though, that the article implies that the Ballet subsidises the Opera. In the POB annual report they provide countless analyses of various statistics, but no attempt is made to break down income and expenditure between Ballet and Opera. So too in the Royal Opera House report this analysis is avoided as far as I can see.

.

 

I guess the journalist is showing off her "insider knowledge". By the way, not at all sure how that weird smiley ended up in the middle of the Tresor de la langue francaise article, but it kind of makes me wish I were still a lexicographer so that I could publish a dictionary with smileys in it!

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If you get rid of those unwanted smileys when you're typing a posting, click on More Reply Options and then uncheck Enable emoticons which is on the right of the text area.

Thanks for the tip, but I didn't actually know it was going to turn into a smiley! I assure you the Tresor de la langue francaise does not use smileys! I just pasted over from their entry and the smiley appeared once it was posted.

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  • 1 year later...

Earlier in this thread there was discussion about resident ballet companies subsidizing resident opera companies.  Some information about the financial relationship between the ballet and opera companies at the ROH was provided by Anthony Russell Roberts in a talk that he gave to London Ballet Circle when he was Administrative Director for the ballet company.

 

He said that when he was appointed he discovered that production costs were apportioned to the opera and ballet companies according to the number of performances each gave during the course of the season.rather than being allocated to them on the basis of the actual cost of their respective seasons.So the ballet company was still subsidizing the opera company until quite recently. Now, he said, the two companies covered their own costs and the only financial requirement placed on them was to break even at the end of the year.  But while the ballet company was not required to make a profit there was a requirement to sell a specified proportion of the house for each production.Comments made in the past by older ballet goers who had been involved with Ballet Association since its early days suggest that " the bottoms on seats requirement " is of real significance when it comes to mounting a new full length ballet or a major revival. When Sylvia was revived ticket sales were very slow initially and several of them were worried that it  would not be seen again if it did not reach the requisite level of attendance.

 

Presumably the hidden subsidy from the old method of allocating production costs meant that when the ballet company stepped in to fill gaps in the opera schedule when an opera production  failed to materialize it carried the cost. I would like to think that when the RB helped the opera company out  a couple of seasons back by performing Manon when a projected production of Die Fledermaus was dropped that the opera company covered the costs of those performances but I somehow doubt it.

 

Ballet tours are expected to make a profit which no doubt explains the repertory taken on tour.The tour to Cuba was an exception to this general rule . The RB's early tours to the US were very profitable and it would be very interesting to know how much of the money went to the ballet company and how much, if any, went to the opera company.

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I remember reading that the long RB tours of the US in the 50s and 60s subsidised the opera company.

 

At a recent London Ballet Circle meeting Alex Beard said that RB tours have to be self-funding, which actually means sponsored by patrons plus returns from ticket sales, though I think that the Cuba tour may have been an exception.

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Given that the current fashion in opera is to have new productions at regular intervals and that a production takes several revivals to cover its costs you can see why an opera company with a resident ballet company might see the ballet company  as a useful source of money.  You can't guarantee that every new opera production will be successful which is why there are so many co-productions.If a production is so bad that it has to be given a decent burial after its first outing that makes a major dent in an opera company's budget.

 

 It is interesting that in all the turmoil that there was in the period leading up to the closure of the opera house Michael Kaiser appears to have pushed the need for the RB to cut its costs even suggesting that the company might be disbanded for the duration of the closure  but he does not appear to addressed the extent to which the ballet company was supporting the opera financially. It would seem that it was Anthony Russell Roberts with his extensive experience of working in opera who rescued the RB company from its financial subservience to the opera. 

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