The Fiocco Room is named after the first music director of La Monnaie, Pietro Antonio Fiocco. With brick walls and a surface area of 330m2, it was specially designed to meet the acoustic requirements of orchestral rehearsals.
For opera productions, the orchestra begins its first rehearsals 10 to 15 days before the premiere. Then comes the italian rehearsal, a purely musical rehearsal (without acting or movements) and the first time the orchestra and the singers are brought together. The italian rehearsals often take place onstage, with the orchestra in the Pit, sometimes in the Fiocco Room. The next rehearsals always take place on stage in the Theatre and combine staging and music. Then comes the pre-dress rehearsal, then the final dress rehearsal, and finally, the premiere!
The music director, or permanent conductor of the orchestra, is employed for several seasons and conducts several productions every year. The Music Director instils an artistic vision and makes a number of important decisions. Since 2016, the French conductor Alain Altinoglu has been the Music Director of the La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra.
The orchestra is divided into sections (first violins, second violons, violas, cellos, double basses, flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns, trumpets, trombones, tubas, timbales, percussions, harp). Each section has its own principal, who is responsible for it and for communicating with the conductor. At the head of all these sections is the ConcertmasterConcertmaster - She or he is the leader of the first violin section. This musician is responsible for playing any solos and is also the representative of the orchestra and responsible for communicating with the conductor. .
The Music Director does not conduct every production in a season. Every year, several guest conductors are invited. Each maestro brings a new style, a new vision, to the work being performed.
Due to its excellent acoustics, the Fiocco Room is also used for recording.
Well-known works from the opera repertoire are rehearsed here, as well as contemporary creations. It features internationally renowned conductors, but also promising young talents.
It is common, especially for new works, for the orchestra to be joined by rare instruments.