Le Monde de la musique (The World of Music)
N°308 ; April 2006. Page 125
The Opera's Commission
What historical, anecdotic, aesthetic, mundane and fantastical works has the Opéra de Paris not inspired! This book by Philippe Agid, who was assistant director of the Opera House from 1995 to 2001, and Jean-Claude Tarondeau, chief editor of the management review, gives us all that and more, in that it takes into account all aspects of managing the Opera during the given timeframe, but also examines the creation of the Royal Academy of Music in 1669 and analyses the advantages and disadvantages experienced by this kind of institution in the 21st century.
The period of reference chosen by the authors is that which Philippe Agid knows best: it relates to the directorship of Hugues Gall, who is shown not as a utopic, idealistic director but as one who knew how, after the mistakes and wastefulness occasioned by the opening of the Bastille Opera House, to balance the often antagonistic forces that make up the "lyrical mammoth" that is the Opéra de Paris. Punctuated by illuminating tables and supported by the testimony of many company players, this book does not read like a novel, but offers the most serious, best constructed study published to date, on subject well-known for unleashing passions and heightening subjectivity.