It was in Nice, at the Palais Nikaia, that the troupe of 155 people (artists and technicians) settled down at the end of August for the final rehearsals of Starmania 2022, under the direction of Thomas Jolly, Molière director and artistic director of the future opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympics. And so it was here that the very first preview took place, this Friday evening, in front of an almost full room.
Skyscraper and Jaguar
It is a grandiose spectacle which the public of Nice was able to attend last night, which ended the evening on a standing ovation. On the stage, there are columns with digital screens representing skyscrapers, and a more imposing block, in rotation, pierced by the branches of a star on which the artists evolve.
The beams of a multitude of spotlights further structure the decor, in which a convertible Jaguar regularly appears. The costumes are signed Nicolas Ghesquière, the artistic director of the women’s collection of Louis Vuitton, passed by Balenciaga.
All this contributes to give substance to Monopolis, the megalopolis of the West over which wants to reign the multi-billionaire Zero Janvier, a white supremacist, follower of all-security; and where everyone dreams of becoming an idol by going on Starmania, a TV show.
Respect for the original and innovation
Fans of the first version, released in 1979, will be delighted to find the original musical score, to which electro variations have been added. A voice-over, that of Thomas Jolly, intervenes regularly, recalling the continuous flow of information, already prefigured more than forty years ago by the creators Luc Plamondon and Michel Berger.
On the voice side, the performance was outstanding. The performers, mostly unknown, will not remain so for long. Only the singer Côme, in the role of Johnny Rockfort, is known to the public, who discovered him in The Voice in 2016, and in the musical Le Rouge et le Noir. All embody their characters with accuracy and emotion, in the purest respect of the original score. The vocal performances are astonishing, and foreshadow very beautiful evolutions.
Clockwork Orange tint
The director Thomas Jolly entrusted him to our columns last month, he wanted to return to dramaturgy. And the promise is kept: any gentillet aspect has disappeared from this apocalyptic rock opera. The violence, the ecological catastrophe, the totalitarianism which are written in the texts, are truly interpreted in a staging tinged with A Clockwork Orange and the Blair Witch Project, where emotions are pushed to their climax.
The transposition of the original work, of which several titles had not been sung since, works admirably. Probably because the work of Michel Berger and Luc Plamondon (who wrote it in Antibes), turns out to be almost prophetic. A vibrant tribute was paid to Michel Berger last night, in the presence of Luc Plamondon, visibly as delighted as he was moved.
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