Next July, the Festival d’Aix will be presenting Orfeo & Majnun, an international project consisting of a participatory urban walkabout followed by a free open-air opera, in a co-production with seven European partners. In preparation for the event [...]
Committed to making art and culture accessible to the many, and convinced that the future of opera is in the making today, Festival d’Aix set up the Passerelles educational and socio-artistic services in 2007 and 2008. Their actions aim to include a wide variety of audiences in the life of the Festival, and invite them to experience the opera.
In 2017, the educational and socio-artistic services involved over 5,800 participants in their projects, in connection with teams from over 200 schools, universities, associations and social institutions in the region.The momentum injected by Passerelles brings in its wake the entire Festival and thus fulfils its desire to actively contribute to the region’s cultural development.
Orfeo & Majnun
Orfeo & Majnun is a European participatory project born of the connection and dialogue between two founding myths of western and eastern civilisations. Amateur participants are at the centre of this project, which is presented as an urban trail and an opera, and which allows Passerelles and its partners to showcase 10 years of experience and cultural actions taken together in the region while exploring new creative processes. | To find out more, read the tab dedicated to this project.
Opera trail to discover the works and explore the themes of the 2018 programme, such as the fate of women and mythological figures in opera, love and loss, renunciation, the initiatory journey, etc.:
- Participatory presentations of the works and lyric art, organised by the team of participants, relay artists from the Académie and educational artists from the Passerelles services.
- Creative workshops allowing each participant to approach the work in question in a personal and sensitive way: vocal and musical practice, plastic arts workshops, visual arts, theatre, puppets, writing, etc.
- Meetings with the Festival’s technical teams and the Académie’s lyric artists
- Open days on the subject of professions in the live entertainment sector for targeted audiences (vocational college students or young adults on back-to-work programmes), dedicated to the discovery of décor, costumes and stage scenery workshops.
- Discovery days bringing together associations and schools for activities and participatory workshops based on a facet of lyric art (in 2018, les Journées de la Voix), a piece of work, or a specific territory.
Each year, participatory projects involve several hundred amateurs to discover or develop collective artistic practice (choir singing, orchestral practice, music improvisation workshops in the public arena, musical creation and traditional songs, etc.), which lead to public performances.
- 14th February 2018, participation in the Opening of MP 2018: the Béla quartet and the Cadences quartet bring together nearly 150 young amateur musicians from the musical conservatories of Aubagne, Pertuis and Vitrolles around an inter-cultural musical repertoire between the east and the west. The “Lettres Intimes” concert will close this MP2018 “Quel Amour !” opening day.
- Les Nouvelles Antigones: this project, which was initiated in 2015 and involved the Sublimes Portes collective, was the subject of a partnership in 2017 with IEP Aix and Seconde Nature. It proposes musical creation components based on music, writing and blogging workshops and meetings with artists from several Mediterranean countries. The project will give rise to a creative performance, la Nuit d’Antigone, within the framework of Aix en Juin on 9th June 2018 at the Aix-en-Provence Conservatory, in which the Ibn Zaydoun Choir will also participate.
- Concerts by Ibn Zaydoun Choir based on a repertoire of love songs consisting of Arabic poetry and traditional songs, at the opening of MP2018 on 14th February 2018 and the Voix de Silvacane, on 16th June 2018.
- Festival Choral Académique 2017: within the framework of a partnership with the Rectorate which began in 2015, a choir made up of secondary school and college choirs from the Aix-Marseille Academy, directed by Philippe Franceschi, joined the artistic project of cello player Sonia Wieder-Atherton, titled Les Odyssées. To rediscover the 2015 edition of Festival Choral Académique, read this article on our blog.
- Work Songs: multi-cultural choir project in connection with the Rara Woulib Company, under the musical direction of Alexandra Satger and the stage direction of Julien Marchaisseau, involving 90 amateurs exploring a repertoire of Work Songs via 16 workshops. Two cinema-concert nights took place in partnership with Alhambra cinema; one on 5th May in their projection room, and one on 11th July in the open air at Cité de la Savine with the Sound Musical School association.
- It’s our turn!: during this event, organised by the Rara Woulib Company for CD13 during the Dimanche de la Canebière event on 25th June 2017, the Work Song Choir put on a festive parade on the Canebière, and around 150 young amateur musicians from school orchestras and the Bouches-du-Rhône Conservatories performed a festive Jam session led by saxophonist and jazzman Raphaël Imbert.
- Concerts by the Ibn Zaydoun multi-cultural choir in different cultural venues and charity events in the Aix-Marseille basin.
- Making Op' educational show (created by baritone Guillaume Paire and vocal coach Nicolas Royez) and the lecture concert of the 2017 programme created by soprano Blerta Zhegu and pianist Frédéric Isoletta were presented in schools and cultural structures and associations in the Aix-Marseille region.
- Music in the city: three events organised in social housing neighbourhoods, offering festive and musical events in Roque d'Anthéron and the north of Marseille.
- Opera Discovery Days with Maison de Quartier la Mareschale and the social and cultural centre of Château de l'Horloge in the Encagnane and Jas-de-Bouffan districts in Aix-en-Provence.
- Outreach programmes tailored around each specific opera performed in the Festival d’Aix 2016, including:
- Fleeting image and self-image, a photographic approach to Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno
- Graphic storytelling workshops and musical events around Kalîla wa Dimna
- Workshops on narrative, voice and audiovisual creation around Così fan tutte
- New educational performance about opera
- Jas de Bouffan music walk: a major musical and festive event on 4 June 2016 in the Jas-de-Bouffan quarter (Fondation Vasarely, Gilbert Vilers park, Bois de l'Aune Theater) gathering school orchestras and adult amateurs chorus
- Cover of Arscénic, an educational and participative performance created by Sybille Wilson
- Concerts by the Ibn Zaydoun Choir
- Concert and creative residency with OJM and Medinea musicians : Musique à la Savine, ephemeral Chorus
The Monster in the Maze
In 2014-2015, these workshops were more particularly structured around a landmark project: the French creation of The Monster in the Maze, performed at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence on July 8 and 9, 2015.
The opera brang into play more than 300 singers (primary and secondary school children and adults) from local amateur choirs, who had been rehearsing since the beginning of the year to prepare for the performances given on the 8th and 9th of July at the Grand Théâtre de Provence. Thanks to its roots in the region, the close relations forged over the years with local education and social stakeholders and its experience in mediation with varied communities, the Passerelles (Bridges) programme has played an active role in this initiative, which success was consequential.
Born from the common desire of the London Symphony Orchestra, the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence and the Berliner Philharmoniker, this project has lead to the creation of an online interactive platform, with support from the Creative Europe program of the European Union. Focussed on the creative process of the show, this platform offers to go behind the scenes ofThe Monster in the Maze, over the rehearsals and the performances in Aix, London and Berlin.
The European Culture and Education Symposium also focused on this uncommon experience, to tackle the theme: "Associating professional and amateur artists in European creative project".
- The Dove, the Fox and the Heron – music theatre work composed by Moneim Adwan and directed by Olivier Letellier, with the Ibn Zaydoun multicultural choir
- Investigation into The Magic Flute – a participatory show imagined by director Sybille Wilson
- Orchestra Workshops
- "Relaying musicians"
- “Musiques en cité” – improvisation in the public space
- Discovering contemporary music with the Quatuor Béla
- The Golden Vanity and Other Tales – education opera production with schoolchildren directed by Sybille Wilson, after Benjamin Britten
- Culture and Education Symposium: "Emergence".
- Creation of Opéra ON - the Festival d'Aix youth scheme
- LSO Discovery Residency – the Orchestra in school
- Orchestra for a Day, with LSO Discovery
- Romeo and Juliet (2010-13), contemporary ballet by choreographer Josette Baïz on a music by Prokofiev
- Brundibár (2012-2013), opera for children in two acts by Hans Krása, given on the memorial site of the Camp des Milles
- Concerts of the Ibn Zaydoun Choir and recording of a CD featuring a selection of its repertoire and providing a record of its work since its foundation in 2008
- Sound installations inspired by The House Taken Over by Vasco Mendonça
- Boras on tour in London at St Luke’s, LSO’s Education Centre.
- Culture and Education Symposium: "Reciprocity as a pillar of culture, creation and democracy", as part of the European year of citizens
- Second year of the Junior orchestra at the JEO (Journées Européennes de l'Opéra)
- Creation of an intercultural project Boras around traditional songs of the Comoros under the artistic direction of Mark Withers and of the choregrapher Thierry Thieû Niang
- Radio fantasia
- Opera Professions path
- Concert with Troubadour and Arabo-Andalusian songs, by the Ibn Zaydoun Choir
- Culture and Education Symposium: "Creation(s) for young audiences and intergenerational projects", as part of the European Year for active ageing
- First year of the Junior orchestra at the JEO (Journées Européennes de l'Opéra)
- Show Arsenic with stage director Sybille Wilson
- Con Fuoco
- Opera discovery path at the Parons medico-educational institute
- Culture and Education Symposium: "Evaluation of artistic initiatives with educational structures and non-profit organisations: the stakes and the challenges", as part of the European year of volunteering
- Concert PARADE[S] at the Grand Saint-Jean, with the presentation of various projects on the Domaine in late June
- Firs year of residency of the LSO, and first projects with LSO Discovery (including the Junior Orchestra)
- Creative film music
- En retour, radio broadcasting about exile
- Culture and Education Symposium: "Artistic creation and social exclusion", as part of the European year for combating poverty and social exclusion
- educational, associative and creative projects. First collaboration withJosette Baïz and the Compagnie Grenade
- First session of the European meeting for Culture and Education, on the theme: "Orchestras & Operas: Innovating in creative activities for young people", as part of the European year of creativity and innovation
- Pursuit of the collaboration with the Berliner Philharmoniker, and production of a second creation out of the Wagnerian Tetralogy entitled « Celui qui n’a pas peur » (the one who is not afraid), inspired by Siegfried and performed at the Bois de L’Aune in June 2008
- 600 children choir (27 June 2013) on the Cours Mirabeau, with Fabrizio Cassol and his jazz band Aka Moon, composed of Oumou Sangaré, Baba Sissoko and Clarion McFadden, along with the Maîtrise des Bouches-du-Rhône
- June 2007 : First partnership with the educational service of the Berliner Philharmoniker, under the direction of Cathy Milliken, on the occasion of their coming for the production of Wagner's Tetralogy at theAix-en-Provence Festival. This partnership gave birth to a production and a movie inspired by Die Walküre, entirely carried by secondary-school and high-school pupils, in partnership with the Ballet Preljocaj and its educational service
- Creation of the educational service of the Aix-en-Provence Festival
Words of a Jazzman
Jazzman, saxophonist, improviser, Raphaël Imbert is also an explorer of the past and contemporary music. On the occasion of its carte blanche at the Festival d'Aix, this exceptional musician will present this year a wide range of different projects suiting the eclecticism of his [...]
First outreach training program for singers
As the Festival d’Aix launches its 2016 season, 12 singers from different backgrounds meet in Aix-en-Provence with musician and educator Mark Withers and director Sybille Wilson, to learn how to communicate the keys to their art to different audiences.