Passion for American Musicals Is Strong in Paris; Sondheim, Lapine, Weill, Bernstein, Rodgers & Hammerstein Embraced

By Mervyn Rothstein
22 Jan 2013

Choplin took over direction of Châtelet in 2006 and started presenting full-scale productions with big casts and large orchestras. He has said he fell in love with American musicals when he began traveling to New York City in 1972 and seeing them on Broadway. His producing started with Candide, My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music.

An engagement of the classic Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II musical Show Boat, presented in 2010 by the Cape Town Opera company of South Africa, was met with standing ovations.

Before Choplin's productions of The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady, the classics had never been seen in France in their full original English-language versions.

When it comes to next season, Choplin says, he hasn't decided yet about Carmen Jones. He is "studying the possibility" because "it would be interesting to do Carmen in a jazzy English version in Paris."

Into the Woods is, he says, also a "family show — and we will continue to develop our relationship with this great artist."