French director Patrice Chereau dies at 68

Patrice Chereau Chereau became director of his first theatre at the age of 22

Related Stories

French cinema, opera and theatre director Patrice Chereau, whose work included the acclaimed film La Reine Margot, has died at the age of 68.

Elisabeth Tanner, co-director of the Artmedia agency which represented Chereau, confirmed he had died after a long illness.

French president Francois Hollande said: "The cultural world is mourning."

"France loses an artist... who is its pride across the world," his statement continued.

Ms Tanner added: "He had an extraordinary vitality right until the end."

The Oscar-nominated La Reine Margot (Queen Margot) won the Cannes Jury prize in 1994.

It starred Isabelle Adjani as a young Queen Margot, who found herself trapped in an arranged marriage against the backdrop of a religious war between Catholics and Protestants.

Another of his films, Intimacy, won the Berlin Golden Bear best film award in 2001.

'Explicit scenes'

Starring Mark Rylance, Timothy Spall and Marianne Faithfull, the tale of sexual obsession was based on the book of the same name by Hanif Kureshi.

The controversial movie featured explicit sex scenes but Chereau defended it, saying: "It is not like a porno film, not at all erotic sometimes, but it is beautiful because it is life".

While revered in his home country for his theatre productions, it was Chereau's production of Wagner's Ring Cycle at the Bayreauth opera festival that attracted international attention.

Staged between 1976 and 1980, the production, set in the industrial age, is still seen as a groundbreaking piece.

Chereau's assistant on the Ring Cycle, Nicolas Joel, is now the director of the Paris Opera.

He said he was "overcome" by the news of Chereau's death.

"He did me the honour of asking me to go with him to the Bayreuth Festival for the centenary Ring Cycle," he added. "I still have wonderful memories of the time we spent together."

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Entertainment & Arts stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa


  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine


  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health


  • Music hackathonMusic hackers

    Sleep-deprived coders enjoy an epic adventure


From BBC Culture

Programmes

  • Tuna and avacadoThe Travel Show Watch

    Is Tokyo set to become the world's gourmet capital?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.