Friedrich Christian Feustking
Georg Friedrich Händel
Stage Director and Set Designer: Gilbert Blin
June 9-23, 2013
Cutler Majestic Theatre
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Reﬂections of Memory
The Early Opera Stage Work of Gilbert Blin
With a cycle of lectures, Gilbert Blin
a review of his staging and designing work
on early operas and shares his views on
historically informed performance.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Boston Early Music Festival, St Botolph Club, Boston, U.S.A.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Musik Akademie Basel - Schola Cantorum Basilinesis, Basel, Switzerland
Friday, June 14, 2013
Boston Early Music Festival,
City Room, Revere Hotel,
has studied Theatre History and Stage Direction at the Sorbonne in Paris. Upon
graduating in 1986, Gilbert Blin concentrated on Rameau’s operas and their
relation to the stage, an interest that has since broadened to encompass French
opera and its relationship to Baroque theatre, his fields of expertise as
historian, stage director and designer.
apprenticeship, Gilbert Blin collaborated with some of the greatest directors:
Robert Altman, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Vittorio Rossi, Helmut Polixa, and Nicolas Joël,
among others. These engagements have taken him from Paris to Stockholm,
Lausanne, Copenhagen, Montréal, and Sydney. In 1987, Gilbert Blin was assistant
stage director in residence at the Opéra de Paris, and under the artistic
directions of Jean-Louis Martinoty and Thierry Fouquet, he worked at
Opéra-Comique in Paris. From 1987, with Don Giovanni, to 1991, with
Idomeneo, Gilbert Blin explored various pieces under the visions of artists
like Göran Järvefelt, Volker Schlöndorff, and Sir Charles Mackerras. He also
worked with sculptors and painters like Arman, Bernar Venet, and Jennifer
Bartlett on sets and costumes.
For his debut,
in 1991, Gilbert Blin directed Massenet’s Werther for the Opéra de Nancy,
which was invited to Saint-Etienne, native city of the composer, for the
centennial of the piece in 1993. For Opéra-Comique in Paris, Gilbert Blin
presented a new version of the show in 1994 with Laurent Petitgirard conducting,
and in 1995 directed Delibes’ Lakmé for the same house, a production
frequently revived in France until 2000. In 1996, he was dramaturge for
Carmen of Bizet, directed by David Radok, at the Royal Opera of Copenhagen.
In 1999, Gilbert Blin was the first French stage director invited by the Prague
State Opera: his successful production of Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable
conducted by Vincent Monteil has been performed for many seasons.
has worked extensively with the operas of Gluck. He was French adviser for
Arnold Östman’s productions of Iphigénie en Tauride (Drottningholm, 1990)
and Alceste (Amsterdam, 1993); he also directed for the Drottningholm
Theatre Orfeo and Euridice in 1992. This production, conducted by Arnold
Östman, was filmed and recorded and was revived in 1998, as part of the Gluck
Festival presented for Stockholm’s year as the “European City of Culture”.
Gilbert Blin founded,
in 1999, the Académie Desprez, Association Française pour le Rayonnement du
Théâtre du Château de Drottningholm.
theatre of the eighteenth century allows Gilbert Blin, in partnership with
musicologist Rémy-Michel Trotier, to lead researches on opera and develop a
whole practice through stage productions.
include a production, designed and directed, in 2001, of Vivaldi’s Orlando
furioso for the State Opera of Prague and, in 2003, a staged reconstruction
of Vivaldi’s Rosmira fedele for the Opéra de Nice. Returning to the
latter house in 2007, Gilbert Blin designed the staging, sets, costumes, and
lights of his acclaimed production of Handel’s Teseo. For the Ensemble
Baroque de Nice, he directed a staged version of La Giuditta, oratorio of
Alessandro Scarlatti, conducted by Gilbert Bezzina; this restitution of a 17th
century Roman performance was successfully touring France in 2009. Recently
Gilbert Blin directed and designed a production of Scarlatti’s Il Tigrane
for Opéra de Nice.
Gilbert Blin has been working on a project of reconstructing the original sets
and costumes of Mozart operas. With Czech stage director Lubor Cukr, he
presented Don Giovanni at the Prague Estates Theatre in 2006 and
Le Nozze di Figaro at Opéra de Nice in 2008.
made his American debut with the Boston Early Music Festival in 2001 by
directing a fully-staged production of Lully’s Thésée. With musicians
Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Gilbert Blin directed, in 2007, Lully’s
Psyché at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston. “Stage Director in
Residence” at the Boston Early Music Festival since 2008, Gilbert Blin has been
directing Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, presented in 2009 at
the Boston Center for the Arts and at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in
Great Barrington. With the Boston Early Music Festival 2011, he directed and
designed the sets for Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe.
For the BEMF
Chamber Opera Series inaugural production at Jordan Hall in Boston, Gilbert Blin
staged Blow’s Venus and Adonis and Charpentier’s Actéon. His
production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas has been created in 2010. In the
same series, Handel’s Acis and Galatea first presented in Boston in 2009
has been touring in 2011. Recently Gilbert Blin came back on the French
repertoire and created a production pairing Charpentier’s La Couronne de
Fleurs and La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers. This production held by
the Press as “Beautifully staged”, “Delightful”, and “Extraordinarily moving“
will be revived for the Boston Early Music Festival and will be presented in
June 2013 at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport.