— At the Festival — Passerelles

Published on March 13 2018


Ouverture de MP2018 - 14 février 2018 © Vincent Beaume
© Vincent Beaume

On 14th February, in the heart of Provence, several hundred people celebrated with music the opening of Marseille-Provence 2018 with Festival d’Aix. This large cultural initiative proposes a year of events on the subject of love in relation with the region’s cultural institutions, as well as with associations and 1,300 schools.

Discovery of animal creatures of Orfeo & Majnun; spreading words of love to the general public; rehearsal of dance phrases with Ballet Preljocaj; musical procession to the rhythm of Work Songs; poetic love songs by the Ibn Zaydoun choir; artistic performance based on the opera Dido and Æneas: these are some of the highlights that animated this musical tour. To close this festive day, the concert Lettres Intimes brought together the Béla and Cadence quartets with 150 students from the musical conservatories of Aubagne, Pertuis and Vitrolles.

From early afternoon, a pop-up creative workshop welcomed children and adults to make and move animal creatures are the focal point of the European participatory project Orfeo & Majnun. Designed by South African artist Roger Titley, these creatures will mingle with the crowd during the urban trail (in Arles, on 8th April 2018 and in Aix-en-Provence, on 24th June 2018) before then coming back on the stage for the opera.

Love became contagious thanks to the rumour sung by young amateurs directed by choir master Jeanne Alcaraz. This rumour of love, spread on Esplanade Mozart, took the audience to the patio of the Grand Théâtre de Provence, where a multitude of words of love, sung in every language, was spread to as many people as possible!

After a few dance phrases orchestrated by Ballet Preljocaj to the airs Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev, the multi-cultural choir directed by Compagnie Rara Woulib then took over to involve the audience with federating songs on a repertoire of Work Songs. Seduced by their energy and smile, the audience was delighted to support these many amateurs and take part!

Once they all came together in the Hall of the Grand Théâtre de Provence, the audience was lulled by the love songs of the Ibn Zaydoun choir, composed by Moneim Adwan, one of the composers of the opera Orfeo & Majnun. Before the audience were allowed in for the concert, the Relay-artists of the Académie du Festival d’Aix proposed a last participatory musical pause based on the opera Dido and Æneas with two artistic performances.

Dedicated to the theme of separation and the famous lamento of Dido, these short artistic forms gracefully revealed the amorous distress and the tragic beauty of the character of Dido. A perfect transition for the Lettres intimes concert!


Orfeo & Majnun receive the support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, Fondation Bettencourt Schueller, The Eloise Susanna Gale Foundation, Fonds Chœur à l’ouvrage and Fondation d'entreprise Total.

Follow the creative process of Orfeo & Majnun on his website!