In 1972, a fervent desire took hold in the hearts of several Opera enthusiasts, enamored of the region: the Begum Aga Khan, Prince and Princess Troubetskoy, Princess Chervachidzé, Mesdames de Beaumont, Gould, Raveno and Tunon, and also Mr & Mrs Jean-Louis Marsan. And on August 17 th of that same year, the first General Assembly was held, under the presidency of Princess Chervachidzé. Thereafter, Mr Vincenzo Soldati took the helm of the Association, and at his death, his wife, Violette continued as president and during sixteen years made a significant contribution towards the development of the Association. It was notably under her presidency that the Grand Prix Lyrique de Monte-Carlo was created in 1981, in response to the wishes of Their Serene Highnesses Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. The lyrical competition was interrupted twelve years later with her departure.
Her successor was Mrs Agnès Vergottis who, in 1996, passed the torch to Mrs Kawther Al Abood.
From 1996 to 2012
Mrs Al Abood's first initiative was to propose the candidature of the Friends to Fedora (European Federation of Associations of Friends of Opera Houses and Lyrical Festivals). Accepted in May 1998, its membership provides the Friends with the opportunity of participating to the European lyrical scene.
In 1999, she decided to add a thrust toward sponsorship with the creation of the “Magic Flute Circle” whose president has been Mr Paul-Marie Jacques until 2015. 2002 is the year of the election of Mrs Liliane Roy Brochu who, no later than 2003, due to the refurbishment of the Salle Garnier, had to cope with three long seasons in other venues. In those difficult moments, a close collaboration with the Opera was necessary so that our Opera lovers miss as less as possible their preferite stage. This cooperation was crowned with the hanging of the new stage curtain offered by our Association's members.
Mrs Liliane Roy Brochu has also inspired one of the new objective of the Association, now written in our Statutes: “to contribute to the development of the lyrical art in the Principality”.
As of his election in January 2007, Mr Sylvain Cohen continues the close collaboration with the Opera with, among other projects, the organisation of the evening in tribute to John Mordler who leaves the direction of the Monte-Carlo Opera after twenty-two years dedicated to his art in the Principality.
This very same year 2007 has seen the arrival of Mr Jean-Louis Grinda as the Monte-Carlo Opera new director.
Mr Paul-Marie Jacques has been elected in 2015 as President of our Association and works in close collaboration with the Board of Members.
Our strengthening ties with the Monte-Carlo Opera allow us to give to our members a richer offer, particularly thanks to the fantastic introductions held before each opera by Mr Jean-Louis Grinda and the singers.