Inspired by Cocteau

He was born on the 5th of July 1889 and passed away on the 11th of October 1963.

“I have always preferred Mythology to History because History is made up of truths that later become lies and Mythology is made up of lies that later become truths” said the infamous man of taste known as Jean Cocteau. Jean Cocteau was a multi-gifted artist… a poet before everything else, but also a novelist, play-writer, critic, screen-writer, dialogist, film director, actor, draughtsman, painter; he created costumes and sets for different shows, imagined ballets, and is mentioned in a music dictionary. He is proof of a prodigious gift of transformation and of the ability to enter and embody an era, an aesthetic quality or another creator. The ambition of complete art, ranked the first artistic ambition by the Wagnerian operas at the end of the 19th Century and then taken over by the Russian Ballets at the beginning of the 20th century is embodied in Cocteau.

The Greenwich Music Festival will present their 2011 Music Festival from June 6-12 entitled “Cocteau” in honor of the writer, playwright and multi-faceted artist who has inspired this year’s programming. The Greenwich Music Festival is a nationally award-winning company committed to the performance of both classic and new works. Each year in June the festival produces a major work of musical drama, accompanied by chamber music concerts, lectures and educational outreach programs. The festival aims to foster the future of classical music by encouraging emerging artists, collaborations and a rigorous artistic process. For more information log onto Greenwichmusicfestival.org.

Jean Cocteau was born in the vicinity of Paris, France, in Maisons-Lafitte on July 5, 1889. He did however grow up in Paris, with his extremely well-off bourgeois family. Due to the social and economic placement of his family, Cocteau was able to reap the rewards of the privileges of the high class. This included being exposed to theater and arts at not only a young age, but being able to be constantly surrounded by them. At the age of sixteen, he was already a published poet. Even as a young man, authors such as Marcel Proust were promoting and befriending Cocteau. Later, he would meet and befriend Pablo Picasso, who had a large influence on him.

Jean Cocteau, French multi-talented writer and artist, famous for “Children of the Game”, collaborated with designers and composers, both on stage and in films. He invented theatre scenarios including ballet, and directed films he scripted himself. As a writer and artist, he permeated a wide variety of genres with panache and humor.

Cocteau was a man of a thousand talents — it is therefore little wonder that he has inspired a week’s worth of musical entertainment from the Greenwich Music Festival. Indeed, he could have generated an entire year’s worth of material so rich and varied is his legacy. The Greenwich Music Festival promises to create programming that is sleek, avant-garde, unique and inimitable… all they have to do is follow in Cocteau’s footsteps…

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