A night honouring the life of Prince Rainier III, the first ever performances of music written by a female composer from Monaco and spell-binding Gregorian chants are just some of the cultural treats that await this summer.
The International Organ Festival will be comprised of five concerts taking place between 25th June and 16th July. The opening concert has special meaning this year, forming part of the Prince Rainier III centenary celebrations, and will feature Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem by the Maîtrise Notre-Dame de Paris, who are coming to the Principality for the first time ever to perform, amongst other talents. Each piece on the programme was commissioned or composed to mark highlights in the life of Prince Rainier III. The concert starts at 6pm at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception up on the Rock.
On 2nd July, Les Femmes Invisibles will highlight musical compositions by women, including a premiere presentation of works by the Monegasque composer Marie-Vera Maixandeau (1929-2018). The concert will be performed by Joy-Leilani Garbuttand at the Cathedral at 6pm.
Another highlight will be the performance by Shin-Young Lee, a talented South Korean organist, on 9th July. Echoing the F(ê)aites de la Danse, which will be taking place on the same weekend and has been organised by the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, two dances that were very popular in the 17th and 18th centuries will be presented alongside Lee’s musical offering. The concert begins at 6pm at the Cathedral.
On 16th July, Gabriel Marghieri on organ and singer Jeanne Bernier will perform a programme entitled Ave Maris Stella that will revive the rich Catholic liturgical tradition known as Gregorian chants. Expect pieces from the 16th century through to the present day. The concert begins at 6pm at the Cathedral.
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The Théâtre du Fort Antoine will also be the setting for many a fabulous evening of music, theatre and culture between 4th July and 1st August.
One such event is Le Grand Voyage, a musical spectacle retracing the history of the organ in a “playful, poetic, educational and interactive way”. Les Colporteurs, a duo made up of Vincent Dubus and Baptiste Genniaux, will lead the tale. This event takes place on 6th July at 9.30pm.
Other unmissable occasions include: Argentinian comedian Luciano Rosso’s Apocalipsync on 4th July; La Bombe Humaine on 11th July; Dans le Cerveau de Maurice Ravel on 21st July; and a poetic and tender performance entitled Le Beau Monde by Arthur Amard, Rémi Fortin, Simon Gauchet and Blanche Ripoche on the final night. For the complete programme, please click here.
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Also set to launch during this fantastic summer of events is the Rainier III, the Builder Prince: An Ambition for Monaco exhibition, which will run from 20th July to 31st December within the Quai Antoine 1er exhibition hall.
“Curated by Stéphane Bern, journalist and columnist, and Christian Curau, architect and curator of the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, the exhibition will showcase how Prince Rainier III was a man of both historical continuity and innovation,” says a spokesperson for the Department of Cultural Affairs. “The Prince’s approach to town planning was revolutionary; his sole motivation was to guarantee the prosperity and well-being of the people of Monaco, to whom he was equally bonded by affection as much as a constitutional oath.”
It joins a plethora of other fascinating exhibitions on Prince Rainier that have been organised for his centenary year celebrations.
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Photo source: Festival International d’Orgue de Monaco / Facebook