T&M/ATEM is finished!
After supporting T&M since it was founded in 1976 for its unique mission of creating music theatre and contemporary opera, the French Ministry of Culture has cut its subsidy in half, bringing an end to the company’s activities.
Created in 1976 by Georges Aperghis, the Atelier Théâtre et Musique – transformed into T&M when he left in 1998 – left its mark on contemporary music theatre and opera in France and Europe through its spirit of creation, independence and artistic freedom, initiative and renewal of forms.
After its first historic period in Bagnolet until 1991, ATEM/T&M – based at the Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers and then in residence at the T2G and the Théâtre de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines – commissioned a number of shows and opera creations, including first stage works by Bernard Cavanna, Heiner Goebbels, Pascal Dusapin, Franco Donatoni, Gérard Pesson, François Sarhan, James Dillon, Oscar Bianchi, Sebastian Rivas, Claire-Mélanie Sinnhuber, Francesco Filidei, Dmitri Kourliandski…
In total, T&M/Atem has created over a hundred shows, run workshops, provided education, published works and commentaries… and supported numerous artists from three generations. From La Bouteille à la mer by Georges Aperghis in 1976 to Eurydice, an Experience of the Dark by Dmitri Kourliandski in 2022, the list is (very) long, punctuated by extraordinary adventures such as To Be Sung by Pascal Dusapin and James Turrell, Ring Saga after Richard Wagner and 200 Motels by Frank Zappa.
After being based for the last time in Nîmes, where the Academy for music theatre was launched in 2022, with the stated aim of passing on this know-how, the Ministry of Culture, through its Occitanie Regional Office and its director Michel Roussel, has decided to drastically reduce its subsidies.
Under these conditions, it was no longer conceivable to continue. The association’s Board of Directors voted to end the activity, and the decision is now effective. It’s a loss for the music world, the one which is dedicated to the creation of new works, and which is the most fragile and hardest hit.
The archives of the Company have been entrusted to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, which will make them accessible and enable us to measure the place occupied by this work at the intersection of the worlds of music and theatre, their most prestigious institutions, as well as the most committed actions, also in its European dimension, through the Réseau Varèse, of which T&M was a founding member and of which I was the chairman for twelve years.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have made it possible for this creative activity to be so enduring in Bagnolet, Nanterre, Paris, Gennevilliers, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Nîmes… and everywhere else where the shows have been invited.
I would also like to pay special tribute to Georges Aperghis, who – as well as being the founder of Atem with Edith Scob and Vincent Colin – inspired a way of thinking about music and theatre other than through the endless repetition of the conventions of these two disciplines.
Antoine Gindt, October 27, 2023
Co-director of Atem with Georges Aperghis, 1992-1997
Director of T&M, 1998-2023