Posts Tagged ‘Ensemble Intercontemporain’

A new theater: La Scala de Paris

Monday, September 17th, 2018

By: Frank Cadenhead

Last Tuesday, a new theater opened in the 10th Arrondissement of Paris. Well, it was not exactly “new” but, thanks to a visionary couple, “La Scala de Paris” is reborn as a 550 seat performing arts center. Recently home to some 200 pigeons, it had, before that, been a porno cinema.

Completed in 1873, the theater was a well-known place for cafés-concerts during the Belle Epoque. Converted in 1936 to a splendid Art déco cinema, in 1977 it evolved into a porno multiplex but has been closed since 1999.

The couple who took on the project of reopening the theater, Mélanie and Frédéric Biessy, have invested some 19 million euros in this project and the theater now has modern equipment and 220 adjustable acoustic panels. It normally seats 550 but can be expanded to 800 to accommodate different-sized events. The restored interior was created and managed by Richard Peduzzi, who created sets with Patrice Chéreau for both his theater and opera productions.

The theater has its eye on younger audiences and composer Philippe Manoury has created a “sonic identity” for the theater. His music, he reports, “is not recorded music but algorithms who play with probability factors. These ‘sound forms’ play from 11 am to 1 in the morning. At the end of 365 days, the parameters return to zero but with all the different combinations, it will be practically impossible to hear the same thing twice in a row. My great challenge is to discover the means to create music without the intervention of the composer.”

Opening events include young pianists Francesco Tristano and Bertrand Chamayou, the Ensemble Intercontemporain and writer Yasmina Reza talking of her father’s fascination with Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata. The theater’s site: A television news introduction to the theater (in French):