concept, direction and scenography Massimo Furlan
concept and dramaturgy Claire de Ribaupierre
assistant Nina Negri
song lyrics Jean Paul Van Bendegem (Belgium, Flemish region), Vinciane Despret (Belgium, Walloon region), Philippe Artières (France), Leon Engler (Germany), Michela Marzano (Italy), Kristupas Sabolius (Lithuania), Ande Somby (Norway), José Bragança de Miranda (Portugal), Mladen Dolar (Slovenia), Santiago Alba Rico (Spain), Mondher Kilani (Switzerland)
musical composition Monika Ballwein (lead), Maïc Anthoine, Gwénolé Buord, Arno Cuendet, Davide De Vita, Lynn Maring, Bart Plugers, Karin Sever
musical direction Steve Grant, Mimmo Pisino
coordination and musical supervision HEMU – University of Music Lausanne: Laurence Desarzens, Thomas Dobler
movement coach Anne Delahaye
lighting and scenography Antoine Friderici
video creation Jérôme Vernez
costumes Severine Besson
make-up/wigs Julie Monot
technical and set construction Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne
with Massimo Furlan
and a local co-presenter
students and teachers of HEMU – University of Music Lausanne: Davide De Vita, Dylan Monnard (voice, alternating) Dominique Hunziker, Lynn Maring (voice, alternating) Mathieu Nuzzo, François Cuennet (keyboard, alternating) Arno Cuendet, Martin Burger (guitar, alternating), Jocelin Lipp, Mimmo Pisino (bass guitar, alternating) Hugo Dordor, Steve Grant (drums, alternating)
with the participation of a local jury at each performance (4 thinkers)
production Numero23Prod, Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne
in collaboration with the jazz and pop music departments at HEMU – University of Music Lausanne
coproduction MC93, Maison de la Culture de Seine-Saint-Denis, Bobigny – Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione, Modena – Festival de Otoño, Madrid – NTGent, Gand – Lithuanian National Drama Theatre, Vilnius – Rosendal Teater, Trondheim – Théâtre de Liège – Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana – Comédie de Genève – Équilibre-Nuithonie, Fribourg – Les 2 Scènes, Scène nationale de Besançon – Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, Lisbonne – Teatro Municipal do Porto – Theater der Welt 2020, Düsseldorf
with the support of Ville de Lausanne – État de Vaud – Pro Helvetia, Fondation Suisse pour la Culture – Loterie Romande – Fondation Leenaards – Pro Scientia et Arte – Fondation du Jubilé de la Mobilière
production supported by the Interreg Program France-Switzerland 2014-2020 with funding support from the ERDF
with the production, technical, communication, and administration teams at the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne
length 2h 15′
in French and eight other languages with Italian surtitles
This new project harks back to our previous show 1973, created at the Festival d’Avignon in 2010, which was a reenactment of the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest. So why return to the idea of the Eurovision Contest? Because it allows us to get a better idea of the commercial and standardised features of today’s music. Because it raises questions about identity: of the different participating countries and of Europe as a community – especially as Europe is becoming more fragile and notions of what it means are being reassessed. Because the idea of competition affects all aspects of our contemporary world: political, social, economic, sporting and cultural.
Just as with 1973, the visual dimensions of scenography, lighting, costumes and choreography are a vital part of the project. However, this time it is not about recreating past performances, but rather making up an entirely new contest that will focus on the song lyrics. We have given the task of writing these texts to thinkers (philosophers, historians, anthropologists, etc.). For form, the texts follow the poetical codes of song, that is, a structure including verses and a chorus, which may be rhymed. For content, however, it is not a question of poetry, lyricism or emotions, but rather of considering sociological, anthropological or philosophical aspects of our contemporary world. The authors have therefore begun with an idea and then have sought to give it the form of a song.
With the European Philosophical Song Contest, our aim is to respond indirectly and with humour to the growing contempt that populist discourse displays toward intellectuals and to the disappearance of thought from the public space in favour of entertainment. Using the ruse of the Trojan horse, we are reintroducing thought and philosophical reflection into the heart of entertainment by means of a musical show that is both entirely credible in terms of the standards of popular music (rock, pop, latino, disco, etc.), but that at the same time through the lyrics stresses the importance of thought and reflection. The most important thing for us is for thought to be present in the public space and for it to be heard, shared and understood. In order to do this, we have also put thought and thinkers in a position that required from them to deal with popular culture, taking it seriously and using it intelligently.
A jury is also present at the contest. It is made up of intellectuals – specialists in contemporary history, philosophy, ecology, anthropology, environmental science, etc. After each song, the members of the jury comment on and discuss the themes evoked by the lyrics. This panel of experts reflects the many televised programmes that use specialists to comment on the performance of candidates in all kinds of domains, from music to sport, from dance to cooking. The critical dialogue developed by the members of the jury plays a key role in the show and is a further opportunity to put thought and reflection at the centre of the proceedings. They lead, at every performance, to unique debates, learned and fascinating, funny and unexpected. Along with the songs, they help take stock of contemporary thought by showing, with humour and yet serious consideration, the beauty and pleasure of thinking and reflecting.
Massimo Furlan e Claire De Rabaupierre
Massimo Furlan’s work often emerges from his childhood memories: he begins from the point of view of his personal life story – he was born in Switzerland to Italian parents in the 1960s – and goes on to touch the collective memory of a whole generation, by producing visual and stage creations that mix burlesque and philosophy, poetic and popular aesthetics. He draws on ideas, dreams and anecdotes from his childhood and teenage years that especially marked him, and whose vibrant intensity today still generates surprise among his audience, as well as a kind of jubilation. His mode of operation is the performance sphere, for example, replaying an iconic match from football’s history in a stadium without a ball, or portraying all the competitors in the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest. In his stage projects, he invites dancers and other performers to create what he calls ‘long images’, long shots similar to cinema and installation art. He also invents ingenious procedures and systems for words that he develops for in-situ projects like Madre, Blue Tired Heroes or Les Héros de la pensée.
Massimo Furlan taps into the dynamic created by the Numero23Prod. company to tackle various issues around shows, performing arts, installation art and video.
Called on to work in different domains and on diverse projects from varying artistic fields, Massimo Furlan and his company engage with a large number of organisations; international festivals, theatres, museums, art centres, and schools.
His work attracts lively interest from the public and media not just in Switzerland but throughout Europe. This interest no doubt comes from the fact the Numero23Prod. produces radical and uncompromising art that is accessible to a wide public and that deals with themes residing in our collective imagination. The language that develops around his work concerns memory and recollection, by way of popular culture.
These considerations produce art that has many varying forms but that stems from the same origin and the same world.
Thanks to the synergy between the people at Numero23Prod, with such various backgrounds as dance, theatre, music and other areas, they are able to go beyond the limits traditionally imposed by genre and convention.