|Would you tell us about the makeup of
the public funding you get? What is the ratio of national and local government
funding? This involves problematic questions that many festivals have to deal
with, like the question of what audience the festival is ultimately for.
||We receive funding from the national, regional, departmental
and arrondissement governments, but 60% of the financial support we get is from
the national government. The rest of the breakdown is 21% from the city of Avignon,
10% from the departmental and 9% from the regional governments. The relationship
with the local audience is a very important question. We moved our offices from
Paris to Avignon. We have a tradition of the Festival being closely tied to local
venues like the interior garden of the Papal Palace, the Calme Monastery and the
Bourbon Quarry. Thus, it is important that our artists come and see the actual
venues and discuss how they will be used and also to talk directly with people
from the local audience. Some 35% of our festival’s audience come from
the local areas.
||In the past, the support from local government was equal
to that of the national government. But, as the costs of mounting the Festival
have increased, the municipal funding has remained the same while the national
funding has continued to increase to the point that the amounts are quite a difference
now. In terms of the Festival’s finances, we maintain a balance of income
and expenses, except in unexpected cases like the recent cancellation. We have
a good relationship with both the national and local governments&;mdash;really
(laughs). They give us a lot of artistic freedom. We are never forced to listen
to outside comments from supporting bodies about the artistic content of the Festival.
In the past there was criticism that
Avignon municipal government gave more financial support to its little-known opera
theater than to its internationally famous performing arts festival. Is that still
How do the two of you work together?
What are your individual roles in the running of the Festival?
||We work together side-by-side very well (laughs). I am
mainly responsible for the artistic aspects and the programming.
||I am responsible for the administrative, financial and
personnel aspects. If Vincent’s job is envisioning dreams, I guess my
job is turning dreams into reality. Vincent is the one who says “Oui”
and I am the one who often has to say “Non” (laughs).
I believe that what we need more than
anything in Japan’s cultural scene today is that kind of good balance
between dreams and reality. Thank you very much for talking to us today.
Both Joseph Nagi and Frédéric Fisbach are known to have
strong associations with Japan. In the 2006 festival we plan to include in the
Avignon program a new joint international work with French and Japanese dancers
and Japanese musicians to be produced in cooperation with the Setagaya Public
Theater. This will be the first time that Japanese artists will perform on the
inner garden stage at the Papal Palace, and it means we will realize performances
in both France and Japan with expectation.