In the constant stream of cancellations of cultural events due to the coronavirus epidemic, would the Festival d’Avignon resist? It would seem so. To date, the 74th edition of the festival will take place as planned, from July 3 to 23, said Olivier Py to Telerama.
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The director of the festival, in office since 2013, did not hide many questions, however: ” Can we do exactly the festival we have planned? I hope, except for one episode, he told La Provence. If the containment ends in early May, we can breathe. The risk is that in the forty shows that make up this program, there are many creations. The artists will have lost weeks of rehearsal. “
For the time being, in France, confinement is planned until April 15, announced Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on March 27. And even extended until early May, ” everything would be done for the festival to take place ”, ensures the organizing team, while teleworking. The festival, greatly disrupted in 1968, has so far been canceled only once, in 2003, due to a long social movement carried by the intermittents of the show.
Among the shows scheduled for this 74th edition, only one package has been declared by a South African company, which, unable to repeat as planned in Berlin, has abandoned its production. Doubts also weigh on five other shows created by companies from Africa and the Middle East, regions which could be confined longer.
Two months of installation
Another concern expressed: having time to climb the Cour d’Honneur of the Palais des Papes which will host, at the opening of the festival, Orfeo, written by Valère Novarina and directed by Jean Bellorini, new director of the TNP de Villeurbanne.
The installation of stands and trays usually starts in mid-April and lasts almost two months, “ for a very simple reason, said Olivier Py to La Provence. It is a historic monument and there is a very small entrance door. New stage installations planned for next year (last year of mandate of Olivier Py, Editor’s note) should require a shorter assembly time, we made sure. “
In mid-June, the stage is then left to the rehearsals of the artists, to understand the dimensions of this unique place. ” Our concern was also about the occupation of schools, but Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said that the hypothesis of extending the school year until July 31 was abandoned “, He continues in this same interview, referring to the fact that many festival shows are held in schools and high schools in Avignon.
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The festival’s program, which was to be made public at a press conference scheduled for March 25, will be released online in digital format with several videos on April 8.