Les Fleurs du mâle

Operetta arias and saucy chansons

2 December 2017 – 9 p.m.
Tickets 14 to 18 € Book
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Norma Nahoun soprano
Marie Gautrot mezzo-soprano
Pauline Buet cello
David Violi piano

Victoria Duhamel
conception and semi-staging

The ‘Belle Époque’ and the ‘Années folles’, as is well known, were the period of emancipation of a sensuality that nineteenth-century morality had reproved without success. As early as the 1860s, operetta cultivated the romance with saucy double-entendres, while the popular café-concert witnessed the flowering of chansons with perfectly unequivocal words, whose erotic content verged on pornography. Although, in those days, a woman’s power was deprived of expression in both political and economic terms, at least the potency of her charms ensured she could govern men and impose her views on them. The charms of the ‘merchants of pleasure’ were even vaunted on the musical stage, from the Second French Empire until the World War II.

During the 2017/18 season, Norma Nahoun sings Ivette in La Rondine, Solveig in Peer Gynt, Mi in Das Land des Lächelns and Baucis in Gounod’s Philémon et Baucis, while Marie Gautrot takes on the roles of Madam Larina in Eugene Onegin, Dame Marthe in Faust and Emilia in Verdi’s Otello. Pauline Buet and David Violi are founder members of the flexibly sized ensemble I Giardini and loyal partners of the Palazzetto Bru Zane, for which they have recorded a trio for the ‘Portrait’ of Félicien David and the recital Il était une fois. This production marks Victoria Duhamel’s first staging for the Centre de Musique Romantique Française, after assisting Pierre-André Weitz on operetta repertory.