Master of Notre-Dame: his first concert outside Paris at the Artenetra festival

Without a home, the Maîtrise de Notre-Dame de Paris performed for the first time outside Paris during the 13th edition of Artenetra, a classical music festival around the royal abbey of Celles-sur-Belle.

Since the terrible fire that ravaged the cathedral in mid-April, the Maîtrise de Notre-Dame de Paris has been in exile. She took refuge in Celles-sur-Belle in Deux-Sèvres during the 13th Artenetra classical music festival. Of the 160 singers, 25 came here to give this first concert outside Paris.

On the programme, works by Fauré and Mendelssohn, under the leadership of Henri Chalet, principal choir conductor of Notre-Dame de Paris, still very marked by this fire which changed the life of the Master. “We were in this cathedral every day because there were over 1,000 offices a year and about 60 concerts,” he says. ” It’s like we lost our second home.”

“Glad to be here”

Coming to rehearse and sing in the heart of the royal abbey of Celles-sur-Belle, which dates from the 17th century, is therefore unusual but the adult singers have not lost all their bearings. They are accompanied by Yves Castagnet. For those who are among the three holders of the great organs of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, “the acoustics of the abbey are very good, both for the organ and for the singers”. And to confess, “We’re thrilled to be here!”.

Outside the walls

Playing outside Paris was certainly a first but it was bound to happen again because the Maîtrise also has the vocation of making live centuries of lithurgic musical history as explained by Henri Chalet.

“We are going to shine for this cathedral and more than ever, we are the musical ambassadors of this musical heritage that must live in Paris, in the provinces and abroad.”
~ Henri Chalet, Principal Choirmaster of Notre-Dame de Paris

Back in 2020

This is not the first time that the Master takes part in the Artenetra festival. Last year, the children’s choir moved. And in 2020, it will be the turn of the entire Master – children and adults together – to perform here to interpret Et Verbum Caro, a contemporary cantata composed by Fabrice Gregorutti, the artistic director of Artenetra. With, as a bonus, the actress Marie-Christine Barrault reciting.

Finish off in style

But before that, the audience of the Artenetra 2019 festival will be able to rediscover the talent of one of the three incumbents of the great organs of Notre-Dame de Paris, Olivier Latry, who proposes a recital with four hands with the Korean pianist Shin-Young Lee. It will be on August 7 in the abbey church for the closing concert of this 13th edition which will have welcomed 79 artists and proposed 24 concerts.