La vie est belle – And Beautiful it Was, Our Dîner Musical
A piece of baguette with creamy Camembert, a look at the fortune teller's cards, colourful hustle and bustle between market stalls. And inside in the hall, a brasserie the likes of which Paris has never seen, a French concert programme by the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich in the guests' ears.
Those who didn't take a seat to play a game of chess on the market square, who didn't have a caricature drawn of themselves or have their fortunes read, who weren't engrossed in conversation with an oyster in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other, was listening to chansons or marvelling at dancers throwing their legs in the air to the cancan as if in vaudeville.
No, the concert foyer of the Tonhalle Zürich was really hardly recognisable when the twice postponed Dîner Musical could finally take place. In the evening light, what was to be a lavish celebration of music and a fundraising event for the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich began in a wonderfully airy manner and lasted well into the night.
And then the concert hall. Where concert seating belongs, long tables were ready for the dîner, the stalls in black and white check like the orchestra on stage or like many a brasserie in Paris. Chatter and laughter only died down when Thomas Sauber, President of Freundeskreis Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, and Artistic Director Ilona Schmiel welcomed the guests, as Sandra Studer moderated into and through the evening. And of course when Music Director Paavo Järvi raised the baton for a lively concert programme from Bizet's «Carmen» overture to Ravel's «Boléro», in between Lisa Larsson's voice with songs by Berwald, Debussy and Ravel, and finally a choir of orchestra and audience singing together the catchy tune «Les Champs-Élysées».
A booklet full of ideas, which the orchestra offered to the audience for auction, was generously used - a ski day with musicians, plus skis with the orchestra logo, a conducting course with a trial run in an orchestra rehearsal, a football tournament, a dance course, house concerts and much more: the Dîner Musical brought in around half a million francs for the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. Merci, les amis!
Translated with DeepL.com