“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago, February 28, 1920, Comédie des Champs-Élysées, 15 avenue Montaigne, Paris

Curtain going up—again!

The Premiere Spectacle-Concert staged by poet Jean Cocteau, 30, is about to be presented for the fourth and probably last time. It’s been more successful than the performers expected, when they premiered about a week ago in front of a carefully selected audience. A patron had bought up all the box seats. Cocteau didn’t want the kind of nasty reaction that greeted the premier of The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky, 37, at this theatre seven years ago.

The Premiere Spectacle-Concert is a tribute to French culture, featuring the music of Les Six, particularly composer Erik Satie, 53. He has been working on his Trois petites pièces montées (Three Little Stuffed Pieces) for months now.

Program Boeuf_premiere

Program from the premiere of Cocteau’s Premiere Spectacle-Concert

Some of the songs are set to some of Cocteau’s own texts and two circus acrobats performing a fox trot. But the surprise hit has been the surrealist ballet by composer Darius Milhaud, 21. The dream sequence with the Fratellini clown family in slow motion contrasts with the outrageously fast music of this latest work, Le Bœuf sur le toit, Op. 58 (The Ox on the Roof:  The Nothing-Doing Bar). [Wait for it–You’ll recognize it.]

Video – Darius Milhaud – Le Bœuf sur le toit – Ballet (2 of 2) (08:46).]

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gpysyteacher.com.

In 2020 I will be talking about writers’ salons in Ireland, England, France and America in the University of Pittsburgh’s Osher Lifelong Learning program.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins and his relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.




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