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Rainier III Academy Gala Concert: a magnificent tribute to the Builder Prince

In the early evening of Wednesday 14 June 2023 at the Auditorium Rainier III, in the presence of H.S.H. Prince Albert II, H.R.H. Princess Caroline of Hanover, H.S.H. Princess Stéphanie accompanied by her daughter Camille Gottlieb, Mélanie-Antoinette de Massy, H.E. M Pierre Dartout, Minister of State, Monseigneur Dominique-Marie David, Archbishop of Monaco, Yvette Lambin Berti, Secretary of State, Patrice Cellario, Government Counsellor – Minister of the Interior, Isabelle Berro-Amadei, Government Counsellor – Minister of External Relations and Cooperation, Françoise Gamerdinger, Director of Cultural Affairs, as well as senior representatives of the Prince’s Palace and the National Council, members of the Comité de Commémoration du Prince Rainier III, Mayor Georges Marsan and members of the Local Council hosted the Gala Concert of the Rainier III Academy, the first part of which was dedicated to Prince Rainier III as part of the commemoration of the centenary of his birth.

In his welcome address, the Mayor, Georges Marsan, recalled the extent to which Prince Rainier III had left his mark on Monaco’s relationship with the living arts, and how music, in all its forms, was fully at the heart of his generous vision. Georges Marsan then gave the floor to Jade Sapolin, Director of the Académie Rainier III, who presented the evening’s programme, before warmly thanking the teachers and students for their involvement in the preparation of this concert, as well as the Centre National Nadia et Lili Boulanger and its Director, Alexandra Laederich, for their collaboration.

In the first half, three great students had the honour of being accompanied by the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra. Alexey Dimitriadis gave an admirable performance of Nadia Boulanger’s ‘Fantaisie’ for piano and orchestra, followed by Yanis Farrugia’s sublime rendition of Marc-César Scotto’s ‘Portrait’ for solo piano, before concluding with a magnificent performance by violinist Carola Longo of Ernest Bloch’s ‘Nigun’ for violin and orchestra. This first part was punctuated by the voice of Jules Renoux, reciting several extracts from letters written by Prince Rainier III to Nadia Boulanger.

The evening continued with a speech by Karyn Ardisson Salopek, Head of Culture and Delegate to the Rainier III Academy, who presented an exceptional violin, designed and made by the students of the Violin Making Workshop and their teacher, Roberto Masini, as a tribute to Prince Rainier III, carefully stored in a case made entirely by hand by Dimitri Musafia, a craftsman in Cremona (Italy). This piece, which took more than 400 hours to make, was warmly presented to H.S.H. Prince Albert II.

The second half of the concert began with excerpts from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s tale ‘The Little Prince’, performed by the Theatre Department, which then handed over the stage to classes from the Academy’s other departments: Ancient Music, Electroacoustics, Jazz, Amplified Contemporary Music and Voice.

The concert ended with Antonin Dvorak’s ‘Symphony of the New World’, performed by the Collective Practice Department and the Académie’s Youth Orchestra, followed by two covers of the French variété repertoire, ‘Evidemment’ by Michel Berger and ‘Quand on arrive en ville’, a song from the rock opera Starmania, written and composed by Luc Plamondon and Michel Berger.

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