After the big success at 50th Bitef – the special jury prize and the audience prize – the French director Joris Lacoste is at our festival again, and what is more, at its very grand opening. What comes after Suite N° 2 is, logically, Suite N° 3, which bears an additional description – Europe. This addition precisely defines the topic of this truly original music performance: an overview of the situation in all the EU member states when it comes to their respect of the "European values". Like previous Joris Lacoste’s projects in this series, Suite N° 3: ‘Europe’ is based on his research project Encyclopédie de la parole, an on-line archive of endless and very varied audio recordings which range from political speeches to random street conversations. The composition of this suite is quite simple, strict and transparent, almost classicist even. On the stage, there is only a concert piano, a pianist and two singers who perform a basically static music recital consisting of 28 scores. Yet it slowly becomes choreographically more complex, more developed, and more estranged. Each score is reduced to one audio recording from each of the member states, it is sung in the state’s official language, while thematically focusing – regardless of whether it is a speech in the parliament or an amateur YouTube recording – on some of the grave dangers the European project is facing today: right-wing populism, xenophobia, intolerance to Jews and refugees from Muslim countries, authoritarian regimes, capitalism in its rawest form… Utterly witty, stripped of any moralization, pathetic quality or ideological instruction, Suite N° 3: ‘Europe’ is a smart, rational, and refined diagnosis of European societies taking the right turn and, as such, it defines the 52nd Bitef theme right from the start.