On Jan. 15, a press conference was held at the Theatre du Rond-Point to introduce a new satellite TV station dedicated to the theatre, with a system of pay-per-view. This will be the first time in France that a TV channel will be exclusively airing theatre programs. The channel, called "Multivision Spectacle", will broadcast to its suscribers ten recent stage productions per season at a rate of FF 39 per program or FF 290 for the ten-plays package.
Multivision Spectacle is a collaboration between the Multivision Group (which already runs several satellite TV stations since 1994) and the Copat (an organization of theatre professionals, mainly theatre directors). Philippe Bony, president of Multivision, expressed his desire to reach larger audiences, especially people living in the provinces and who don't have the opportunity to go to the theatre. Jacques Legre, president of the Copat, explained that this channel would also be a good way to start constituting theatrical archives.
Multivision Spectacle's first "season" will run Jan. 17. to June 15. The Copat has chosen nine recent plays - ranging from classic to contemporary plays - and one opera. All of them (including the opera) are in French but are not necessarily French productions. The partners of the Copat include three Belgian and two Swiss theatres.
Christelle Durand, member of the Copat and director of the Theatre de Paris, presented the season. The nine plays and the opera selected for the season are : Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt's Le Libertin (which just finished a succesful one-year run at the Theatre Montparnasse), Monique Lachere's Raspoutine, Eugene Labiche's Le voyage de Mr Perrichon (Mr Perrichon's holiday), Alphonse Boudard's Rue Alphone Boudard, Itineraire d'un aristocrate du ruisseau, Carlos Goldoni's Les Jumeaux venitiens (The Venetian twins) (this production won the Moliere Award of Best Production of a Classic Play in 1997), Beaumarchais' Le Barbier de Seville (The Barber of Seville), Tom Kempinski's Duo pour une soliste (Duet for one), Mozart's opera Les noces de Figaro (The marriage of Figaro) (in a French translation by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt), Racine's Phedre and Van Stalle and D'Hanswijck's Bossemans et Coppenolle.
-- By Stephane Ly-Cuong