A Paris Opera Tribute
It is with profound sadness that the Paris Opera, the chairman of the Board of Directors Bernard Stirn, the Director General Stéphane Lissner, and all the staff have learnt of the death of Pierre Bergé, their Honorary President.
All of us recall how, in 1988, François Mitterrand, President of the French Republic, handed him the reins of our opera house with the mission of inaugurating the Opéra Bastille a few months later on July 13, 1989. If he was chosen to do so, it was as much for his qualities as a visionary leader convinced of the new Opera’s relevance as for his love for music, the arts and literature.
An exceptional man with an insatiable curiosity, open to all forms of artistic expression and sometimes radical in his choices, Pierre Bergé never ceased to support our institution and we shall remain forever grateful to him.
For the thirtieth anniversary of the Opéra Bastille in January 2019, the choice of Hector Berlioz’s Les Troyens with Philippe Jordan conducting our Chorus and our Orchestra which Pierre Bergé loved so dearly, was to underline the tribute that Stéphane Lissner wished the Paris Opera to pay to Pierre Bergé. In sixteen months time, this production will be given in his honour.
All over the world, and of course in Paris, be it at Bastille or the Palais Garnier, Pierre Bergé was our most devoted supporter and his passionate applause was always unmistakable.
Only recently, he was particularly enthusiastic at the premiere of Così fan tutte which we will be presenting again next week. This production which opens the season will also be dedicated to him.
Through the performances we give, in the theatres he so often frequented and kept alive and vibrant every day by all who work at the Opera, his memory will live on.
The history of the Paris Opera, both in its broad lines and more intimately, is closely linked to the the commitment and drive of this extraordinary personality.