Constance, a neoclassical ballet by Julien Lestel, is performed by eight principals coming from the Paris Opera and the Marseille National Ballet. Constance is inspired by DH Lawrence’s novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Creativity scenes are altogether aesthetic, sensual, fascinating and poetic.
The music of Philip Glass and lighting effects of Max Haas highlights the beauty of a magnificent choreography.
Other works by Philip Glass are interpreted by the Italian Saxophone Quartet on Sunday, February 21.
Hommage to Italian Opera
Francesco CILEA (1866-1950) E la solita storia (It’s the old tale of the shephard) from L'Arlesiana
E la solitaria storia del pastore is an aria sung in the Act II of L’Arlesiana. The opera was first performed in Milan in November 1897. The libretto is based on the play L'Arlésienne (1872) by Alphonse Daudet, and a short story from his collection Lettres de mon moulin (Letters from my windmill). Federico is madly in love with a girl from Arles (l’Arlesiana), however his family has arranged a marriage for him and Vivetta. He is reading the letters of l’Arlesiana, which brakes his heart. This is a very famous aria for tenors.
Other works by Cilea are interpreted by the soprano Cristina Nassif with the LPO on Sunday, March 21.
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Una furtiva lagrima from L'elisir d'amore : (L'élixir d'amour : une larme furtive)
The opera was first performed in Milan in May 1832 by the Italian librettist Felice Romani.
The aria una furtiva lagrima is one of the most performed arias on stage. It is loved by the audience. L’Elisir d’amore takes place in an Italian village in 1800. The handsome farmer Nemorino loves the daughter of a rich tenant-farmer, Adina. She sheds a tear when she realizes she loves him, thus leading him to sing this aria.
Other works by Donizetti are interpreted by the festival choir conducted by Gianluca Marciano on Sunday, March 14
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) E lucevan le stelle (Et les étoiles brillaient) from Tosca
Tosca premiered in Rome in January 1900. The Italian libretto is by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on an original play by Victorien Sardou. The composer first saw it in Milan in 1887, with Sarah Bernhardt in the title role. Ever since that day he decided to make an opera adaptation of it. The action takes place in Rome in June 1800. The aria is sung by Tosca's lover, the painter Mario Cavaradossi. He sings this aria right before being executed.
Other works by Puccini are interpreted by the soprano Randa Rouweyha accompanied by pianist Jeff Cohen on Saturday, February 20. Puccini will also be interpreted by the Leb. National Conservatoire Choir, the Antonine University Choir, the LPO and the soloists on Friday, March 12 at the St Joseph Church, and by the soprano Cristina Nassif with the LPO on Sunday, March 21.
Julien Lestel Company
Julien Lestel Company was created in 2006 and is mainly composed of dancers coming from prestigious companies such as the Paris Opera or the Marseille National Ballet. They currently perform all over France and are also invited to great international festivals.
JULIEN LESTEL, choreographer
Julien Lestel started at the ballet school of the Paris National Opera when he was 11 years old.
He attended the Higher National Conservatory in Paris and was awarded First Prize in June 1989.
His teachers included Jean-Yves Lormeau, Gilbert Mayer, Cyril Atanassoff and principally the well-known Maître Yves Brieux.
After being trained at the Paris Opera School, Julien Lestel worked with the most famous dancers and choreographers such as Noureev, Forsythe, Kylian, Robbins, Pina Baush, Carolyn Carlson and others. Devoted to his art and keen on getting involved in choreographic research, he founded his own company in 2006.
He has worked with many famous artists; Macha Méril, Marie-Christine Barrault, Pierre Arditi, the pianists François René Duchable and Jean-Marc Luisada, and the violinist Laurent Korcia and others.
In June 2007, Pierre Cardin organized the first night presentation of Julien’s ballet “Les Âmes Frères” in his theatre in Paris.
Further more in June 2007, at the request of Frédéric Flamand, director of the Marseille National Ballet, Julien created the choreography “Somewhere” for thirteen dancers.
Julien Lestel has created his own choreographies such as the ballet “Chopin Danse” and many other solos and duos.
Performances and venues
Château de Versailles, Chantilly, Aix-les-Bains, and the pyroconcerts at Talloires, as both dancer and choreographer.
He danced for the town of Grenoble when it organized an event to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the release of prisoners from concentration camps.
He also performed for the town of Nohant when it organized the bicentenary of the birth of George Sand at the Château d’Ars.
In 2009, the Marseille National Ballet presented Julien’s company with his new creation Constance.