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INTERVIEW with Fannie Vernaz: the 2022 MUSICANCY Festival

INTERVIEW with Fannie Vernaz: the 2022 MUSICANCY Festival. Make the French language sing, always question the question of historical interpretation,th Musicancy Festival under the impulsion of Fannie Vernaz reactivates the magic of Baroque and early music, like the reflection that its production arouses. The castle and the park of Ancy-le-Franc offer an inspiring setting: Battles, grotesques, biblical or mythological scenes, floral or bucolic motif »… everything makes sense and raises questions, an aesthetic filiation, a new sound imaginary embodied by the gesture of the invited artists that the new director of the Festival wishes to cultivate. In 2023, the year of Musicancy’s 20th anniversary, new perspectives are about to see the light of day, marking a decisive milestone in the history of the event… In-depth interview with Fannie Vernaz, president of Musicancy.

CLASSIQUENEWS: According to what criteria did you select the artists and ensembles invited this year?
FANNIE VERNAZ : I brought together musicians involved in the interpretation of the same repertoire, that of early and baroque music mainly, and extremely motivated by questions of style, instrumental colors and language. They are all attached to making this language sing as well through their instruments as through their voices. It is for this reason that the voices hold an important place in the program this year, the music of the Grand Siècle being inseparable from the vocal art.
By opening the festival with Ensemble Correspondances, a long-time partner as far as I am concerned, I also wanted to affirm the identity of the festival, with an ensemble emblematic of these questions of style and involved in a permanent research on sound, the works, treatises and implementation of this repertoire without ever lowering our guard. But the ensembles or artists who join the program are just as passionate about these questions, each working in a very specialized way on the expressive springs of a period in the history of music which constantly questions the conditions of its interpretation. historically informed.

CLASSIQUENEWS: What form/format of concerts/shows do you prefer? What purpose ?
FANNIE VERNAZ : Going from a staged show to a recital for voice and harpsichord or from a medieval music ensemble to a troupe of bards specializing in the traditional music of Gaelic countries, I wanted to welcome various formations, each with its own story to tell, a light to shed on this ancient repertoire, endowed with multiple facets.
My desire is to organize a collective dynamic underpinned by a theme that can build links between each show. The extremely playful and jubilant virtuosity of a Justin Taylor in a Rameau program will have particular echoes with the theater music of Molière and Charpentier. The Italian program concocted by Paolo Zanzu will establish correspondences with the traditional music program of Scotland and Ireland, Italy, a land of learning, having nourished European musicians throughout the 18th century, in a report of mutual imitation and enrichment.


CLASSIQUENEWS: How do the concerts interact with the heritage place?
FANNIE VERNAZ : The Château d’Ancy-le-Franc is a remarkable place which testifies to an art of living inspired by the “Italianized” Court of France, and carefully organized between private space and public space: its interior courtyard, its noble floor, its galleries, its guard room, its bedrooms, its chapel. The exceptional decorations of the Flemish, Italian or Burgundian masters of the 16th and 17th centuries in addition to the outbuildings, the park and the nearby canal, give a royal appearance to the place and also testify to an extraordinary holiday art.
The exemplary restoration carried out by Paris Investir SAS has revealed original frescoes, rediscovering the imprint of the Renaissance style that several generations had hidden. And every year we have the chance to discover new restored elements.
Visiting the castle has always been a surprising moment, but seeing it regularly since I took over the Musicancy program is extremely inspiring. This is why we work together, the castle and Musicancy, to imagine routes in music including during visits. The rooms of Diana, Judith or Psyche, the galleries of Médée or the Sacrifices, or even the Louvois salon are eloquent in more than one way and nourish all sorts of correspondences with music, in particular that which may have resonated in these places at the time of construction, or much later at the time of the Grand Siècle or that of the Age of Enlightenment. Battles, grotesques, biblical or mythological scenes, floral or bucolic motifs evoke infinite possibilities of repertoire drawn in particular from composers of the Baroque period, passionate about ancient art and fascinated by Italy.
It is also one of our projects to lead cross-journeys with the artists invited by Musicancy so that they can share their favorites through the rooms of the castle. Today, several museums already do this, as for example in Caen or Dijon: a guided tour of the castle with the presence of the artist will shed new light on our heritage, another way of seeing it, enriched by the many echoes it produces in the artist.

CLASSIQUENEWS: What experience would you like festival-goers to have at Château d’Ancy-le-Franc when they come to the Festival?
FANNIE VERNAZ : I particularly appreciate a concert when it tells a story, when it takes us to a completely different universe and when it makes our imagination work. For this, it is of course a question of giving listening keys: the artists on stage can do it and the means put in place through the meetings after the concert contribute a lot to this. The program with which the spectator leaves is also an indispensable tool. The record store present after the concert also contributes to the dissemination of a musical heritage through the record object. The bond between artists and public is tied in these moments, the meeting extends the concert in one way or another and breaks the barrier of the stage.
But I also want to share my vision of a repertoire with artists who seem to me the most capable of representing or defending it, and who find the means to transmit it not only to a music-loving public, but also to generations of solicited today by a number of very diverse cultures. If the spectator leaves enriched with a new experience and has taken pleasure in discovering new artists, a new repertoire, or even a way of playing different from what he knew until then, it’s won!

CLASSIQUENEWS: Any announcements for next year, the 20th anniversary of the Musicancy Festival?
FANNIE VERNAZ : I am currently working on the year 2023, which already promises to be very dense and which will require additional resources if we want to implement the planned programming. The 20 years will be an opportunity to mix the directories. I can already announce that in partnership with the Royaumont Foundation, we should host a staged opera and that the theme will be that of “the night”. The night as an inexhaustible source of inspiration, as a place of magic, storytelling, symbol and metamorphosis too… An uncorseted theme, which will set the tone of the festival and will again open up to multiple relationships between the different repertoires, the baroque remaining the main pivot point.
The primary ambition is to seek the ideal match between the Château d’Ancy-le-Franc and the program, to maintain a balance between known works and others to be rediscovered or discovered through creation, to ensure a balance between artists known in France and internationally (including those from the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region) and young talents. It is above all the qualitative requirement that will take precedence and will also make it possible to engage in artistic education actions with local actors and other partners at the regional or national level.

Interviewed in June 2022



READ here our presentation of the MUSICANCY Festival, from June 25 to September 11, 2022 :


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