For 25+ years, Charles Letourneau has produced several of the most successful performing arts projects in the business. Now the former Senior Vice President of IMG Artists is redefining the creative and commercial possibilities of how performance and lifestyle festivals can – and should – be planned, executed and monetized.
With an international/multi-lingual toolkit that includes feasibility studies, financial planning, technical operations, programming, fundraising, marketing, strategic partnerships, artist relations, educational programs and an in-depth knowledge of classical music, Letourneau’s events – including Tokyo’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Itzhak Perlman’s ‘Return to Russia’ concerts, Thomas Hampson’s ‘Song of America’ tour, Italy’s Tuscan Sun Festival and Florida’s Festival of the Arts Boca – continue to move the needle on a global level. The renowned Festival Napa Valley, for which Letourneau has served as Executive Producer since its inception in 2006, remains the artistic/commercial blueprint for regional event organizers and investors worldwide.
“We’ve proved that it’s possible to present the best of the best and finish in the black,” Letourneau says. “Today organizations are looking for someone to bring these opportunities to fruition. Upscale brands are looking for a presence in new markets. Our mission is to keep delivering nothing less than a new performing arts paradigm with a proven business model.”
The starling – l’étourneau in French – is a swift, agile songbird whose range of habitat is virtually global. They are skilled organizers, unique pollinators and fierce competitors.
Shakespeare noted the bird’s unique abilities in Henry IV, Part 1 (“Nay, I’ll have a starling shall be taught to speak nothing but ‘Mortimer’…”), Schubert was inspired by its poetic beauty in his Die schöne Müllerin (“I’d teach a starling how to speak and sing/Till every word and note with truth should ring”), and Mozart kept a beloved pet starling that he credited with helping him to complete his Piano Concerto No. 17.
Distinctively social creatures, the starling is best known for its ability to form dynamically – and frequently breathtakingly – orchestrated flocks called murmations. These communal gatherings – hundreds of thousands strong yet moving as one – are referred to as ‘the ballet of the skies’ and recognized as one of nature’s most extraordinary phenomena.