This final debate promote further reflection on the meaning and mission of the Festival which has come to light during the current crisis. On one hand the speakers reflect on the Festival’s local anchorage and its regional partners which give the Festival a strong and important foundation that allows it to have a national and international presence and impact. On the other hand, the speakers also look towards the future to consider the guiding principles and projects within the field of culture today in order to find ways to transform the current challenges into future opportunities. Pierre Audi discusses with Maja Hoffmann, Founder of the Fondation Luma in Arles, Macha Makeïeff, Director of the Théâtre de La Criée in Marseille, and Jean-François Chougnet, director of the Mucem in Marseille.
Born in the Lebanon, Pierre Audi grew up in Beirut and Paris, before moving to England to study at the University of Oxford. In 1979, he founded the Almeida Theatre, as well as a contemporary music festival in London. From 1988 to 2018, he was Artistic Director of the Dutch National Opera, of the Holland Festival from 2004 to 2014, and of the Park Avenue Armory in New York since 2015. He took up his role of Director General of the Festival d'Aix in September 2018. He is a highly sought after Stage Director in cities all over the world including New York, Paris, Milan, Amsterdam, Salzburg, Brussels, Vienna, Sydney, Los Angeles, and Munich, and his productions cover a vast repertoire of contemporary creations. He has received many awards for his work as a stage director including the Leslie Boosey Award, the Prijs van de Kritiek (prize awarded by Dutch theatre critics), the Prins Bernhard prize for culture, the Johannes Vermeer Award, and the Gold Medal for Arts and Science from the Royal Dutch House of Orange Nassau.
Macha Makeïeff directs La Criée - Théâtre national de Marseille. She staged her first production with Antoine Vitez; founded “Les Films de Mon Oncle” with Jérôme Deschamps, to promote the work of Jacques Tati; and, again with Jérôme Deschamps, created the French television series Les Deschiens for Canal+. Macha Makeïeff also created the Jacques Tati retrospective at the Cinémathèque Française. At La Criée, she has created Les Apaches and Ali Baba, and has staged Philippe Fenwick’s Lumières d’Odessa; Molière’s Trissotin ou Les Femmes Savantes (Trissotin or the Learned Ladies); Philippe Geslin’s Les Âmes offensées (Offended Souls); and Mikhail Bulgakov’s La Fuite ! (The Run!). In opera, she has staged Offenbach’s Les Brigands (The Bandits); Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio); Franz Lehár’s Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow); Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheryomushki; Cavalli’s La Calisto; Chabrier’s L’Étoile; Hérold’s Zampa; and Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias (The Breasts of Tiresias). In 2019, Macha Makeïeff played a game of pool in Lewis versus Alice at the Festival d’Avignon; created the exhibition “Trouble fête, Collections curieuses et Choses inquiètes” (“Spoilsport, Curious Collections and Disquieting Things”) at the Maison Jean Vilar; and published Zone céleste at Actes Sud publishing house. She has taught many masterclasses at the Pavillon Bosio - École Supérieure d’Arts Plastiques de la Ville de Monaco, where she also chairs the Conseil artistique et scientifique (“Artistic and Scientific Council”).
Jean François Chougnet is a historian and has been President of the Musée des civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée (Mucem) in Marseille since 2014. From 2011 to 2014, he was Director of Marseille Provence 2013 (European Capital of Culture in 2013). He ran the Museu Berardo in Lisbon between 2007 and 2011 and from 2000 to 2006, he was Director General of the Park and of the Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris.
Founder and President of the Luma Foundation, and Founder of Luma Arles, Maja Hoffmann has a pivotal position at the arts biennial Elevation 1049 in Gstaad and oversees the program at Luma Westbau in Zurich. She is the President of the Swiss Institute in New York and of the Fondation Vincent van Gogh in Arles, the Vice-President of the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation in Basel, and holds a board position at the Serpentine Galleries in London, the Kunsthalle Zürich, the New Museum of Contemporary Art and at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, both in New York. Maja Hoffmann supports both the Fondation MAVA and the Fondation Tour du Valat, as well as Human Rights Watch.
Dramaturge of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence