"In staging this drama known for its very particular atmosphere, the director delights in emphasizing its esoteric nature. Michel Gies is far from giving us a literal rendering of this romantic opera, which is usually traditionally performed. We are compelled to reflect." (Ouest-France, 03.1987)
"The poignancy of this vision undoubtedly brings a modernism to Mignon and accentuates the true Goethean elements. This unpretentious play is most certainly a romantic drama and as it is no longer reduced to a simple story resting on the easy success of its two arias, Ambroise Thomas’ music regains its full meaning."
(Pierre Julien, Opera International, March 1988).
"The standing-room only Theatre gave a rousing ovation to directors and cast at the close of first performance... In a light and airy showcase, Giès has produced a remarkable work, the fruit of intelligent research. His production is precise and concise. In addition, his lighting effects are both perfectly adapted and in excellent taste.."
(A.L- Vaucluse Matin, 20.02.1990)
"You might think that Carmen is such a well-known and often seen opera, that a fresh and innovative presentation would be difficult. Notwithstanding, the Lodz production has proved surprising in more than one way. We had learned that Carmen is one of the first illustrations of verist opera. Instead of this, the French director Michel Giès proclaims: "Let's try to immerge ourselves in this unreal world where the myth can be reached. We looked for our model in the Spain of the Inquisition, of witchcraft, of fanaticism, but also in the Spain of festivals and ceremonies, tying pagan traditions to excessive religiosity".
And he practices on stage what he preaches.
(Jozef Kanski, Ruch Muzyczny , 3.11.1991)
"Michel Gies' new staging of this opera aroused very great interest.
The dramatic dimension of the plot was emphasized most successfully, with the greater part of the audience showing great enthusiasm while others seemed to disagree with the French director's far from classical production. With the daring staging of this opera the Theatre management has carried off a bold experimental success."
(Rita LOGATCHEVA, Kharkov News, 11.1993).
"A miracle shadow play such as they have in Indonesia and very beautiful to look at... True moments of strange mythic beauty, the kernel centers of an authentic Egyptian night at the opera." (David BLAKE, Al Ahram Weekly, 19.06.96).
"The Opera Anas el Wogood has just had its World Premiere, applauded without interruption and acclaimed without respite... This work was superbly directed by Michel Giès, who, with great imaginative intelligence, succeeded in creating a very lively and effervescent opera where ancient Egypt and the age of the Sultans are yoked together with prodigious art... Tremendous inventive power... "
(Amal CHOUCRI CATTA, Le Progrès Egyptien, 16.06.96).
"This staging gave us a different interpretation which was more dynamic, more personal and more global. This production is proof for us that the staging of an opera needs to be more than merely descriptive. It must also conjure up a whole musical universe on stage giving life to the dramatic emotions of the work and communicating them to the audience. For such theatrical creation talented singers are simply not enough - talented stage direction is also necessary." Gek SOEK (The Korean Perfoming Art magazine), Seoul, juin 95.
"From the specially painted Second Empire curtain to the last detail of gloves and footwear, the exquisite stage set, the sumptuous and witty costumes, to the stage movement and lavish dancing, the Academy for Performing Arts production of Offenbach's la Vie Parisienne is simply the most striking performance ever given here...
In the lithe, almost seamless production, singing, dancing, satire…everybody seemed to be having the most wonderful time…
Watch the end of the third act, when dancers swirl, singers get drunk, a three-meter-high Champagne bottle pops open-and then even the tables on stage start spinning around. Now that's a musical show. "
(Harry Rolnick, South China Morning Post, 3.05.96).
"La Vie Parisienne is a triumph in Hong Kong...
« There was also dancing on the Titanic ». This saying is well-known among the French residents in the Chinese world and it is readily brought to mind when you read about La Vie Parisienne’s huge sucess in the South China Morning Post, an English-speaking daily newspaper known for its tenuous francophilia. » (Francis Deron, Le Monde, 29.05.96).
« Seven sold-out performances to a public of gamblers, akin to those among the Third Empire’s high society, celebrating the moment without a thought to what destiny holds » (Jean Leclerc du Sablon, Le Figaro, 13.06.96).
« A performance… The public stormed the box office… » (Philippe Le Corre, La Tribune, 10.05.96)
« La Vie Parisienne is a huge work to undertake and the sets, costumes and choreography involved are breathtaking… » (Hong-Kong Standard, 05.05.96)
« A cleverly staged show… A marvellous experience… » (Ming Pao Daily News, 14.05.96)
(First staged production of songs by Milhaud,Chabrier, Ravel, Poulenc, Sauguet)
"A production full of humour, where ecology and music mingle. "
(Journal Notocias, 12.02.2001).
"A world of gentle evocations, childhood memories, a tender look at insects and plants, entertaining annotations, information and poetic references. This is a show which enhances the originality of the concept while bringing out the vocal quality of the performer... An atmosphere that sometimes draws close to surrealist imagination."
(O Comercio do Porto, 23.02.01).
"A show with a special style. Some French composers invite us to discover the flora and fauna. Video projections are used to sustain the delicate rhythm and light-hearted atmosphere of this show. The audience greatly appreciated Flora and Fauna and often broke into laughter and applause."
(Journal de Macao, 10.03.02).
"A chamber opera for an audience of all ages which goes as far as including multimedia scenic elements to achieve its ambitious goal : that of proving that music by Chabrier, Ravel, and Poulenc, just like poetry by Apollinaire or Eluard, need not be boring for anyone and may also be performed for children."
(Terras Montemor, 27.12.2002).
(Cabaret show, music by Satie, Chabrier, Poulenc, Messager…, and texts by Proust, Courteline, Anouilh…)
“Glorious hours for “café-concert”:
Michel Giès found the way to convey this original collection of texts and songs to everyone…. As for the prim pianist’s character, with her delicious accent, it brings the farcical touch… Even if the production’s mood doesn’t object to melancholy, this performance actually is as light as a Cancan-dancer’s leg.”
(La Charente Libre, 10/09/05)
"Michel Gies' staging was uncompromising, austere, contained, certainly risky but never to the point of alarming the audience. Raphaelle Farman proved herself a physical performer, full of stamina and keeping the initiative during two hours on stage."
Michel Giès, better known for his "grand" stage directing (Carmen, Norma, Mignon), delights in staging this play and indeed enhances it with very well chosen musical pieces which allow the spectator to feel quite at home throughout ... A theatrical gem beautifully polished by the enthusiasm of its actors and the fine imagination of its director."
"The public had the opportunity to discover the facets of Feydeau's many talents..."
Le Dauphiné libéré, 27/01/2019
Michel Giès - Stage director
Theatre – Opera – Musicals
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