There was one; they will now be two. Alongside La Grange au lac, inaugurated on May 20, 1993 on the heights of Lake Geneva, the city of Évian announced on April 17 that it was going to have a new musical setting, nicely named La Source vive. Its inauguration is announced for the summer of 2025.
Like its big sister, built in the woods on the model of a Russian dacha in honor of the cellist Mstislav Rostropovitch, it was designed by the architect Patrick Bouchain, this time in duo with his colleague Philippe Chiambaretta. Like her, she will welcome the artists programmed by the Rencontres musicales d’Évian, whose artistic director is now the violinist Renaud Capuçon.
And like her, she was supported financially by a wealthy donor: after Antoine Riboud, Chairman and CEO of BSN (now the Danone group) for La Grange au lac, La Source vive is supported by patron Aline Foriel-Destezet, widow of Philippe Foriel-Destezet, founder of the interim giant Adecco, without whom many current musical projects could not see the light of day.
Spectators around the stage
On the plans and models presented by the architects, the rounded shape and rustic appearance of this new room evoke a hut, even an immense mushroom placed in the forest… Once through the doors, the spectator will find himself surrounded by whiteness, invited to take place around the stage, on the ancestral and “egalitarian” model of theaters in the round.
On the plans and models presented by the architects, the rounded shape and rustic appearance of La Source vive evoke a hut, even a huge mushroom placed in the forest. / PCA-STREAM
With 500 seats – where La Grange has 1,100 – La Source vive will be dedicated to chamber music but also suitable for recordings. Its vocation requires, of course, an acoustic creation of the finest, entrusted to Albert Xu, who had already realized that of La Grange au lac. In addition to the geometry of the room, its volume and the choice of materials that make it up, the acoustician imagined a “tailor-made soundproofing” to fine-tune the sound quality.
A new foyer and a lodge building, common to the two rooms, complete the system which highlights respect for the natural environment in which it is located. Thus, the architects indicate that they have “favored the use of natural and local materials, like La Grange au lac, entirely made of raw wood, by choosing, as a counterpoint, a white and bright room thanks to using raw, unpainted plaster. The roofing in pre-weathered copper tiles, a natural material, favors the integration of the building among the trees of the site”. The team also specifies that 145 trees and 440 shrubs have been planted alongside the site, while an already existing pond “is being enlarged, in dialogue with the League for the Protection of Birds, in order to improve the reception of insects” .
Conviviality, technical performance, ecology… The contemporary parameters are therefore met, according to the managers of the Rencontres musicales d’Évian, whose next summer edition, still fully scheduled in La Grange au lac, will be held from June 28 to July 8. The bill is very prestigious from the opening night, provided by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Zubin Mehta.