Disappearance of Hugues Gall

A major figure in the lyrical world and the administration of culture, Hugues Gall died on Saturday May 25, at the age of 84. His death was announced by the Academy of Fine Arts of which he was a member. Former director of the Grand Théâtre de Genève and the Paris Opera, he was at the head of the Monet Foundation for more than fifteen years.

Born in Honfleur in 1940, Hugues Gall trained at Sciences Po while pursuing a degree in German literature at the Sorbonne. He began his career by joining Edgar Faure's office at the Ministry of Agriculture in 1966, then that of National Education where he was responsible for artistic teaching. In 1969, he joined the cabinet of Edmond Michelet at the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, before being appointed secretary general of the Réunion des Théâtres Lyriques Nationaux. From 1973 to 1980, he assisted the musician and composer Rolf Liebermann, then head of the Paris Opera.

In 1980, Hugues Gall left France for Switzerland and took charge of the Grand Théâtre de Genève. At the head of the institution for fifteen years, he gave it “a great artistic openness and contributed to its development towards a global opera, a mixture of all artistic expressions” underlines Xavier Oberson, president of the foundation board of the Grand Théâtre.

In 1995, he was appointed director of the Paris National Opera when the institution was going through a delicate period. The Opéra Bastille project – associated with the Palais Garnier – is consolidated under its seven-year mandate, a “founding period for the establishment with the reconstitution of a directory, the establishment of a new governance and an economic model which still prevails today” recalls the institution in its press release. Under his direction, the Paris Opera organizes 360 performances of operas and ballets and welcomes nearly 900,000 spectators per year to its two halls, with 80 new opera productions.

Free member of the Academy of Fine Arts since 2002, Hugues Gall has chaired the Institute for the Financing of Cinema and Cultural Industries (IFCIC) and the French Youth Orchestra (OFJ). In 2008, he was elected director of Claude Monet's House and Gardens in Giverny for a five-year term, renewed to date. He then helped to make it an important tourist destination by carrying out several renovation projects.

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