Despite sanitary constraints, large numbers of spectators came to the first concerts of the 36e edition of the Festival Radio France Occitanie Montpellier, now under the acronym “From”. The public is therefore there, assiduous. «He is not younger than elsewhere, notes Jean-Pierre Rousseau, director of the festival, but it is renewed more, and attendance continues to grow, 2020 having been the exception of course. I admit that we tended to exist on our “as-to-be”, imagining to be known everywhere. This was not the case, the festival lacked promotion. Despite his name, he was not promoted on Radio France! “
The crowd is at the rendezvous for an edition that aspires to rejoice. ” This year, every concert is a party, I claim it and hammer it, insists Jean-Pierre Rousseau. I asked the artists for programs designed for us around this positive notion. This year, no opera, except at the end of the edition (1), a pocket book for small staff. ” Last year, two were planned but it was unfortunately impossible to postpone them. The singers are no longer available for the first. The second had, unfortunately, to be canceled in April for lack of possible repetitions », Deplores Jean-Pierre Rousseau. 2022 promises to be more prosperous ” and we are already preparing the 40th anniversary edition, in 2025 … », Promises the director.
Launched in mid-July, the event offers 155 concerts including 43 across the region. Under the explicit title of Fireworks, the inaugural day began with the Hanson Quartet in a sumptuous program running from the XVIIIe in the XXIe century (Haydn, Bartók, Hosokawa), followed by an equally seductive recital of Franco-Germanic melodies delicately interpreted by soprano Sophie Karthäuser and pianist Cédric Tiberghien. Before, in apotheosis, a long Handel evening thanks to Hervé Niquet and his Spiritual Concert, bringing together Coronation Anthems, Royal fireworks and Te Deum de Dettingen.
An impressive recital by young Russian pianist Dmitry Shishkin awaited the audience the next day, while Renaud Capuçon and Michel Dalberto attracted a crowd of great evenings. On the menu of the two artists, rare sonatas by Fauré, Elgar and Richard Strauss, in the great hall of the Opéra Berlioz, which nevertheless underlined some acidity of the violin. The pianist Marie-Ange Nguci, has imposed herself in a wide and colorful program.