Reportage

PHOTOS. Inside the Monaco on Stage exhibition

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Communication Department - Stéphane Danna

Eva Dmintenkro, cultural coordinator for Monaco on Stage, walked us around the different sections of the exhibition.

The exhibition emphasises the fun side of music. Eva Dmitrenko tells us that the curator of the exhibition, Alex Jaffray, and the scenographer Rudy Sabounghi agreed on one phrase: “Playing music”.

The Blackie, Eric Clapton’s guitar, lit up. Photo: Monaco Tribune

Light is often used to guide the visitor through the different rooms. The exhibition starts off with several guitars that belonged to legendary guitarists (these are the same models, not the originals). The room is quite dark, but each guitar is lit in turn, in a specific order. Music by the guitarist in question keeps pace with the spotlight. The most famous instrument is surely the Blackie, invented by Eric Clapton. He built this guitar himself, using different guitars that he had bought “for a pittance”, says Eva Dmitrenko.

A reconstruction of a diva’s dressing room. Photo: Monaco Tribune

We visit the reconstructed dressing rooms of two types of artists, divas and crooners. “Divas are female artists who are known for their extraordinary vocal prowess, but also particularly extravagant stage costumes,” explains the exhibition’s coordinator.

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As we continue, we are surrounded by music and light effects, which help to immerse the visitor in the exhibition. A long hallway is dotted with album covers by well-known bands. On our right are the portraits of members of different groups who came to perform solo in Monaco. “For example, Téléphone’s Louis Bertignac or Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys,” says Eva Dmitrenko.

After listening to several performances by great female jazz singers, our immersion continues. A reconstruction of the Moods bar’s walls, autographed by artists who performed there, leads us to the final experience. Here, visitors come on stage as if they were the latest rock star to make it big. Lights, instruments, audience… everything is set for a demonstration that lasts about thirty seconds. No spoilers!

The walls at Moods, covered with writings by artists who played there

Before ending our visit, our favourite part of the exhibition was listening a cappella to influential singers of their time. Three headphones, a small room, but a big thrill. Joséphine Baker, Sting, Charles Aznavour and Elton John take us into their vocal world.

Many artists have performed in Monaco, whether at Le Sporting, Moods or the Opera. The last room in our visit is devoted to the twelve artists who have performed most frequently on stage in the Principality. We’ll let you find out for yourselves who they are, but they include big French and international celebrities. For example, Johnny Hallyday came to play Monaco 12 times between 1962 and 2015.

Practical details:

  • Date: until 31 December 2022
  • Venue: Quai Antoine I Exhibition Hall
  • Free admission