by Karol Beffa

Suite for accordion and symphony orchestra

duration : 20 min
commissioned by Félicien Brut
creation in December 2023, at the Limoges Opera (87)
with the Limoges Opera Orchestra, conducted by Johanna Malangré

I. Edith

II. Barbara

III. Charles

IV. L’autre Charles

V. Bruno

VI. Yves

The Olympia Suite in a few words…

Strolling along the Boulevard des Capucines, we are dazzled by the bright red letters hanging from the façade of number 28: the Olympia. Inaugurated in 1883, this hall resounded to the sound of the voices of La Goulue, Mistinguett or Fréhel before becoming a cinema in the 1920s. It regained its vocation as a music hall when Bruno Coquatrix took over the management in 1954. The Olympia then became the mythical stage of the song and, of course, of its companion the accordion.

Edith Piaf, Barbara, Charles Trénet, Charles Aznavour and Yves Montand are among those who have made its walls vibrate. It is them, these five, but also their hotel, Bruno Coquatrix, that Karol Beffa evokes in his Olympia suite. Beyond the whispered notes of La Vie en Rose, La Mer or La Bohème, Karol tells the story of these six personalities, painting six sketches of their respective characters: the lyricism of Piaf, the mischievousness of Barbara, the dandyism of Trénet, the ardor of Aznavour, the discreet passion of Coquatrix and the impetuosity of Montand…