Franck Ollu


Franck Ollu is a versatile conductor, widely acknowledged as an expert in the field of contemporary and French music. During the 2018/19 season he will conduct revivals of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande at Strasbourg Opera and Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg in Caen. He will also return to the Salzburg Festival for a performance of Medeamaterial by Dusapin. In summer 2018 Franck conducted the premiere performances of Story Water at the Avignon Festival, conducting the Ensemble Modern in a collaboration with Emanuel Gat’s Dance company. Further performances have included Paris, Bonn and Antwerp.

Last season Franck conducted the world premiere of A Wintery Spring by Saed Haddad, with a libretto based on poems by Khalil Gibran. He also conducted a double bill of Dallapiccola’s Il prigioniero and Rihm’s Das Gehege (La Monnaie and Stuttgart). Other opera productions have included performances at the Bolshoi Opera, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Netherlands Opera, Théâtre des Champs Elysées (Paris) and Théâtre du Capitole (Toulouse).

Franck has been invited to conduct the world premiere performances of many important opera titles, including Bianchi’s Thanks to My Eyes, (Festival Aix-en-Provence), Dusapin’s Penthésiléa (La Monnaie) and Passion (Festival Aix-en-Provence). He conducted the first performance of Benjamin’s first opera Into the Little Hill at Opéra Bastille in 2006.

Franck has a particularly close relationship with Ensemble Modern in both operatic and orchestral projects. He has also conducted the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin and Frankfurt Radio, BBC and Danish National Symphony Orchestras. World premiere performances of works for orchestra or ensemble have included compositions by Brian Ferneyhough, Peter Eötvös and Wolfgang Rihm.


Performance Schedule

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    20:30 28 Jul 2019 Kollegienkirche, SALZBURG

    PASCAL DUSAPIN Medeamaterial

    Soprano: Jennifer France
    Choir: Vocalconsort Berlin
    Orchestra: Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

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    27 Oct 18 Pelléas et Mélisande
    Opera du Rhin

    “Like “the floor that breathes” (Boulez), the orchestra conducted by Franck Ollu keeps itself from any excess, scrupulously respecting Debussy’s indications, never swallowing the voices. Subtle, refined, but able to underline the “expressive” indications that Debussy embellishes his score, without ever falling into an expressionist or verist bias, he sings, from the prelude, clear and profound, retained as it should be. The flexibility, the precision of the lyrical declamation animated by the conductor, the breaths he imposes deserve to be underlined. This last one from Strasbourg will be remembered in all memories.”

    Yvan Beuvard, Forum Opéra

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    18 Jan 18 Il Prigioniero / Das Gehege
    La Monnaie

    “Nevertheless, the most beautiful link between two parts of unequal strength is none other than Franck Ollu, undoubtedly one of the best performers of the contemporary repertoire. Rihm is not conducted like Mozart, and the conductor’s gestures, as attentive to the entrances of singers as to his musicians, are ballet.”

    Stéphane Renard, L’Echo

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    31 Mar 17 "The Oresteia"
    Basel Opera

    “Bewundernswert, wie umsichtig und cool der Dirigent Franck Ollu agiert, der ohne direkten Blickkontakt zu Protagonisten und Chor mit dem Rücken zum Geschehen, das er lenkt, auf der Bühne steht.”
    Frankfurter Allgemeine

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    26 Jan 16 Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin

    “Am Pult steht diesmal im Großen Saal des RBB, der Franzose Franck Ollu, ein inspirierender Dirigent der Moderne aus der Schule von Boulez und Eötvös, auf den die Musiker sich verlassen können. Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.”

    Der Tagesspiegel

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    29 Sep 15 Pascal Dusapin Penthésiléa
    Opera du Rhin

    “Cet art-là ne cherche pas à imiter l’horreur, et l’effroi naît bien plutôt d’une tension qui se passe de hurlements. Spécialiste du répertoire contemporain, Franck Ollu s’empare de la partition avec la subtilité qui convient, et conduit sans esbroufe l’Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg jusqu’au bout de ce voyage ténébreux”.

    Forum Opera France

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    25 Jul 15 Pierre Boulez, Johannes Schöllhorn, Shiori Usui, Jolas. Derive 2
    BBC Proms, Cadogan Hall

    “…given with consummate expertise by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and conductor Franck Ollu, ended with the teeming, furiously tangled ensemble writing of Boulez’s most substantial recent work, Dérive 2, which reached its current 45-minute form six years ago”.

    The Guardian, London