Kazushi Ono, who was the Music Director of La Monnaie from 2002 to 2008, returns to Brussels as a guest conductor for the anniversary of the orchestra. He will conduct a programme that shines a light on a few key moments from La Monnaie’s past. In 1881, Jules Massenet chose Brussels over Paris for the premiere of his new opera Hérodiade, which gave a serious boost to the opera house’s reputation! La Monnaie really blossomed after 1900, when the director Maurice Kufferath opened its doors to the modern repertoire, including Salome by Richard Strauss (sung in French). Although, historically speaking, there was only one generation between Herod and Salome, the characters created by Strauss and Massenet come from two completely different musical worlds. These biblical stories set to music find the perfect secular counterpart in Sergey Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony, ‘a hymn to free and happy Man, to his mighty powers, his pure and noble spirit’.