Massenet Festival (Festival Massenet) is a biennale festival of music by French composer, Jules Massenet held in Saint-Étienne, France, close to the area where the composer was born. The first Massenet Festival took place in November 1990 when the opera Cléopâtre and the oratorio La Vierge were presented. In recent years, performances have been given in the Grand Théâtre Massenet, one of the theatres of the Opéra Théâtre de Saint-Etienne, and formerly known as L'Esplanade.
Following the initial success of staging Massenet's Amadis in 1988 during an "unofficial" festival of his work, the organizers decided to regularly fund these festivals starting in 1990. However, because the L' Esplanade opera house in Saint-Étienne burned down in October 1998, the originally planned next festival was delayed for more than half a year.
Later Festival highlights
In 1992, Esclarmonde was staged (with the participation of Denia Mazzola Gavazzeni in the title role), while the Third Massenet Festival in 1994 brought revivals of such operas as Grisélidis, Panurge, and Le Cid. In 2003 the 7th Festival included Sapho, conducted by Laurent Campellone.
Over the following years, the other Massenet operas have been presented:
- Kasow, Joel. "Report from Saint Etienne", Opera (London), March 2004, Vol 55 No 3, p. 313.
- Kasow, Joel. "Report from Saint Etienne", Opera (London), April 2002, Vol 53 No 4, p. 438.
- David Stevens "A Massenet is born again", Internatiuonal Herald Tribune (on nytimes.com), 19 November 2003. Review of the 2003 Festival
- Kasow, Joel. "Report from Saint Etienne", Opera (London), March 2006, Vol 57 No 3, p. 304.
- Jose Irurzun, "Massenet, Ariane", review on www.musicweb-international.com Retrieved 22 February 2013
- Andrew Clements, "Jules Massenet: Thérèse – review", 13 July 2013. Accessed 27 June 2014.