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The team

General direction

Director General
Jean-Luc Choplin
Assistant Director General
Catrin Unkel

Jean-Luc Choplin

From 1976-1980, Jean-Luc Choplin was Director of the Fêtes Musicales de la Sainte Baume. the Summer Academy of Musical Performance held in the Monastery of Sainte Baume. Here he ensured that this interdisciplinary laboratory broadened its reach, allowing artistes to live and work creatively in an extraordinarily conducive environment. Among the many performing artists were John Cage, Henri Pousseur, Takehisa Kosugi, André Boucourechliev, Carlos R. Alcina, Y. Taira, Trisha Brown, Steve Paxton, David Gordon, Douglas Dunn, Yvonne Rainer, Heiner Muller and Robert Wilson, who all took advantage of the Academy to share their vision, participate in the workshops, and produce original work.John Cage dedicated his 25 pieces for five orchestras and 0’00’’ to Jean-Luc Choplin.
From 1978 to 1980, Jean-Luc Choplin was Administrator of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Lorraine.
In 1980, the Mayor of Marseille requested Choplin to contribute to turning the Ballet Roland Petit into a National Ballet company. As Director of the institution, he worked with Roland Petit for five years.
During this period, from 1981 to 1984, he was Director of Cultural Policy for the Regional Council of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region, under its President, Michel Pezet. Here he facilitated the emergence of new professional training institutions, among them the Ecole de Jeunes Solistes Lyriques (School of Young Solo Singers), choirs (CNIPAL) performing in Marseille and Nice, and supported the Ecole de Danse de Marseille. He was also a Member of the Board of Management of prestigious events such as the Festival d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence, the Festival d’Avignon, the Cannes Film Festival….
En 1984, he was appointed Administrateur Général de la Danse at the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris, working with Rudolf Nureyev.
In 1989 he joined Disneyland-Paris at the request of its President, Robert Fitzpatrick, former Director of Cal Arts and Director of the Festival of the Olympic Games of Los Angeles, where Jean-Luc Choplin produced the French part to Bob Wilson’s 24 hour Opera, Civil Wars.
En 1995, Michael Eisner, CEO Walt Disney Company, invited Jean-Luc Choplin to Los Angeles to develop artistic projects.
On his return to Paris in 2001, Jean-Luc Choplin responded to a request from Noëlle Meyer, to become Artistic Consultant to the Galeries Lafayette Group and develop a gallery for the Visual Arts (Galerie des Galeries). He initiated numerous in-store artistic installations and, working with Italian artist Valerio Festi, oversaw the commissioning, design and completion of the dazzling illuminations of the façade for the festive season. As a result, and at Jean-Luc Choplin’s request, the Galeries Lafayette Group supported the Visual Arts programme of the Festival d’Automne
Appointed Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London in 2002, he had the responsibility of bringing change to one of England’s oldest theatrical and musical institutions, founded in 1683.
His goal was to transform Sadler’s Wells into a partner of the English National Opera.
In January 2004, Jean-Luc Choplin was appointed Director General of the Théâtre du Châtelet by the Mayor of Paris, a post he took up on 1 July 2006. Here he has aimed to preserve the outstanding performance tradition of the Théâtre du Châtelet in the fields of dance and opera, while broadening the public appeal of this historically important venue through the staging of innovative performances, which are not only bold but full of insouciance and joie-de-vivre.
His target was to attract an annual audience of 300,000 by putting on eclectic and exciting performances, making the musical theatre of Châtelet a place of expansive enjoyment and education. This target was more than met, as in the 2008-2009 season, 308,097 seats were sold.
Since 2006, Jean-Luc Choplin has initiated and produced new opera projects such as Bintou Wéré (a Sahel opera, the first African opera), La Pietra del Paragone with Giorgio Barberio Corsetti and Pierrick Sorin (famous video-artist), Monkey Journey to the West (Xi Yu Ji) with Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett (Gorillaz pop group), Welcome to the Voice with Sting, Verfügbar aux Enfers by Germaine Tillon, a deportee from concentration camp of Ravensbrück, Magdalena a musical by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Die Feen (unknown opera by the young Wagner), Pastorale, contemporary operaby composer Gérard Pesson, The Fly the operawith David Cronenberg and Howard Shore (Lord of the Ring), Padmavati opera by Albert Roussel with Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Bollywood film director), Impempe Yomlingo, a Mozart’s Magic Flute on marimbas from a South-African company, Treemonisha by Scott Joplin, Vespro della beata Vergine by Monteverdi with Oleg Kulik, Russian contemporary visual artist, Il Postino by Daniel Catán, Mexican composer, with Plácido Domingo as Pablo Neruda ….
At least he also succeeded in a mission everybody thought impossible: introducing musicals in France. From the beginning, he made the choice to produce mythical works, new shows, to dedicate the same means to musicals than to opera shows (fool orchestras, opera singers...). Candide, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Showboat, most of these pieces were French creations. In 2009, A Little Night Music is the first work by Stephen Sondheim ever performed in France. It is a revelation for both press and audience. The following season, Sweeney Todd was performed for 27 performances with the same success.