If Music be the Food of Life …
If you consider music as the food of life you’re in the most excellent company of l’orchestre de chambre de Toulouse which has a plat du jour just for you.
As David Christoffel on his daily France Musique slot — Les oreilles sensibles notes, the Toulouse Chamber Orchestra offers classical buffs a gourmet music feast. Just like most of France’s best restaurants it serves five courses of haute cuisine — from Bach to Mozart, Telemann to Mendelssohn — wrapped in a melodic note served up on the platform by 13 members. Only the wine/champagne is missing, but that can be supped in the interval.
The Chamber Orchestra has attracted a lively and loyal following by serving its audience full ‘open outcry’ participation in deciding the entrées, plats du jour, fromages and desserts at each of its performances.
This unique orchestral experience, known as “Concert à la Criée”, is a sort of you-blend-the-dishes evening where the orchestra leader holds up the menu and takes his orders on the basis of the selections that get the loudest shout-out from the audience.
The opportunity to decide the entertainment for themselves has resulted in a steep demand for tickets according to one report.
This approach to music making is not without its logistical difficulties — the orchestra needs to have rehearsed and prepared a substantial number of “dishes” ahead of each performance and to carry with them about 100 different scores, far more than any traditional concert performance demands.
You can watch how it works — with the conductor taking orders from the musical diners for each course — here in a video only available on the orchestra’s Facebook page
Listen to David Christoffel’s report in this podcast