Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer on Saturday launched The Sea is Green initiative at a special dinner recital, marking a year of action on the theme of the sea that will bring together art, culture and solidarity.
Under the stunning Eiffel glass dome of the Hôtel Hermitage, guests were treated to a piano concert by 16-year-old Monegasque virtuoso Stella Almondo, an art exhibition by Jean Boghossian, and a gastronomic meal and wine pairing imagined by Chef Yannick Alléno.
Echoing the pioneering action of Prince Albert II of Monaco, his commitments on the international scene and the actions of his Foundation, The Sea is Green is the first theme in a year-long campaign by the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) to promote the protection of the oceans. This will be followed by ‘New Wave’, ‘Et vogue le navire’ (And Sail the Ship), and ‘Mer de glace‘ (Sea Ice).
In launching the initiative on Saturday 10th March, newly appointed CEO Stéphane Valeri spoke of SBM’s dedication to sustainable development, highlighting that all of the company’s establishments are Green Globe certified, and the Resort is working towards becoming one of the very first in the world to obtain this certification in its own right.
Art inspired by the sea
To give the theme an artistic dimension, SBM asked artist Jean Boghossian to come up with a series of works inspired both by the sea and by the ambition of sustainable development. As a result, the Syrian-born artist created La Mer Incandescente: plaques that mimic the sails dotting the horizon during regattas, which will be displayed in the gardens and streets of Monte-Carlo. He is also showcasing in the halls of the Hôtel Hermitage his ceramic sculptures that incorporate corals and sea shells.
“In 2016, I acquired the collection of the shell museum in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, which was due to close,” explained Jean Boghossian. “The collection was therefore able to continue to be presented to the public. They are marvels, each shell is as beautiful as a precious stone.”
Monaco’s young concert pianist steals the show
The evening highlight was Monegasque pianist Stella Almondo. At just 16 years of age, this talented performer has already garnered an impressive track record, winning numerous competitions including the Flame in Paris, the Steinway & Sons in Cannes and the International Young Chopin Competition in Switzerland.
After giving her first concert at the age of 10, Stella has since performed with the Orchestre National de Cannes, the Slovak Sinfonietta Orchestra and the Monte-Carlo Opera for the Printemps des Arts. She also performed for the National Council in Monaco, where she impressed outgoing president Stéphane Valeri so much that he invited her to take part in Saturday’s event.
Guests were treated to five concertos, including Schumann’s Sonata n°2 and Chopin’s Étude Op. 25, No. 12 ‘Ocean’.
Radio Classique Journalist and Presenter David Abiker was MC for the evening, while pianist Camille Taver amused guests with his improvisations around the theme of the sea.
Under the Eiffel glass dome
The dinner was served, for the first time ever, under the Eiffel glass roof of the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo. The Winter Garden, as it is known, had its dome designed and erected by the disciples of Gustave Eiffel, the undisputed master of metal architecture.
The meal was specially composed by Chef Yannick Alléno (Pavyllon Monte-Carlo) to illustrate the theme The Sea Is Green.
Overall, the evening was a pleasure to the senses, combining art, music, gastronomy and creative ambition with the joy of living and an ambition to protect the ocean: Monte-Carlo in a nutshell.
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All photos source: Monte-Carlo SBM