Le Figaro publishes last Friday an article entitled “The war of the pretenders to run the Paris Opera”. Among the 11 names on the “short list” of the French Minister of Culture, Franck Riester, that of Jean-Louis Grinda, director of the Monte Carlo Opera since 2007 and Chorégies of Orange since 2016.

According to one of the leaders of the operation quoted by the Paris daily, the successor to the estate of Stéphane Lissner, who will leave his post in 2021, must meet several criteria: “Someone who defends an artistic project on lyric and ballet, a business leader able to run a company of 2,200 people with a budget of 220 million euros, which can transform the organization of work and be able to embody and carry the image of opera among patrons.”

The latter now represent one-third of the private financing of an institution half financed by public funds.

“I DID NOT ASK ANYONE”

Contacted yesterday afternoon, in the middle of rehearsals of Hoffmann Tales and a few hours of a concert with the Prince’s Musicians in Naples, Jean-Louis Grinda confirmed the information while insisting that he had not postulated, but we had come to get him.

“I did not ask anyone, but someone at the highest level approached me. I was asked last April and asked if I would eventually agree to be on a list submitted to the President of the Republic.”

“Very happy and very flattered”, Jean-Louis Grinda responded positively to the condition: “I did not want to do show any interest if the case was already closed. If it is open, there is no problem.”

According to our colleagues at Le Figaro, the 11 contenders will be received throughout the weekend by an audition committee. The program: twenty minutes of presentation and one hour of questions for each. All filmed.

Questioned about this, Jean-Louis Grinda preferred not to comment. Just like behind the scenes of these negotiations. “I do not know the developments; all that escapes me completely.”