“Our theatre is inhabited, in every sense of the word; it is alive and firmly rooted to allow itself to be close to the future.” It is with these words of Jean-François Driant that the 2022-2023 season of the Volcan, national scene of Le Havre opens. A season which he signed the program before leaving the head of this theatre to which he will have devoted more than 15 years of a life that ended abruptly in the night of September 8 to 9. Inhabited, the Volcano will be for a long time by the spirit and the work of one who has marked with his intelligence, his generosity and his singular vision the cultural life of Le Havre.
A musician, he held the positions of advisor for music and dance successively in the regional directorates of cultural affairs of Champagne-Ardenne, Rhône-Alpes then Bretagne from 1992 to 1998 before joining Régine Chopinot as Managing Director of the Atlantic Ballet, Centre Chorégraphique National de La Rochelle. He was then appointed to the management of the Aéronef, a reference concert hall in Lille, and joined the team of Lille 2004, European Capital of Culture, as artistic advisor. Advisor at the Manège, Reims National Scene in 2005, he was then appointed director of the Volcan in 2006.
Throughout his career, he has made the choice to serve culture and its transmission with great fidelity to artists, a constant concern for the renewal of audiences, commitment and generosity without fail.
In constant search for new models, this demanding and sharp artistic gaze, attracted by unusual projects, attached itself, without the filter of fashion, conventions or notoriety, to the content and innovative strength of works.
His «volcanic years» were marked by the complicity that binds him to Pauline Bureau, Robert Lepage, Johann Le Guillerm, inventor and unclassifiable circassian or to the company Opéra Pagaï, La Cité Merveilleux illuminated Place Niemeyer for more than a week during the opening of the 2021-2022 season.
Aware of the time required for a work to flourish, he put the Volcan at the service of an art and culture that are not built in an emergency.
I share the emotion of all those to whom man and his vision of a theatre as “simply vital space that opens the doors of parallel worlds” will be lacking.
I extend my sincere condolences to his two daughters, to all his loved ones and to the Volcan teams.