Pierre Berge is a man of many talents — not the least of which is that of music impresario.
Last week in Paris, the Yves Saint Laurent couture boss hosted a recital of Franz Schubert’s bone-tingling song cycle “Die Winterreisse,” sung by soprano Jessye Norman and staged by Robert Wilson. YSL provided the costumes.
“I love these lieder so much,” Berge said. “I just had to stage them again.” After the enthusiastic curtain call at the Theatre du Chatelet, Berge hosted an intimate dinner for the likes of Bernard and Helene Arnault; Yves Saint Laurent and his muses Betty Catroux and Loulou de la Falaise; Prince Amyn Aga Khan and Begum Aga Khan; antiquaire Arianne Dandois; decorator Alberto Pinto, and Christian Dior Homme designer Hedi Slimane. Berge, who once ran the Athenee theater, said that getting La Norman to lend her famous voice to songs that were written for baritone has been a longtime dream.
“Jessye and Bob and I have had this production whizzing through our heads for a long time,” he revealed. “I’m so pleased it came to fruition.”
Next up: Berge is scheming with Norman and Wilson to collaborate on composer Francois Poulenc’s version of Jean Cocteau’s “La Voix Humaine.”