Socio-artistic programme

Work Songs - Cinéma L'Alhambra, 5 mai 2017 - Crédit photo Vincent Beaume
© Vincent Beaume

Socio-artistic initiatives are structured around partnerships with non-profit, social-sector, medical-social, healthcare and culture organisations. Building bridges between professional and amateur artists, and between audiences from different generations and cultures, focusing on the works included in the Festival programme.



Marie-Laure Stephan

The Festival’s socio-artistic programme is designed for a public encompassing a wide age range and which, owing to economic reasons, social background or reduced autonomy, can feel cut off from the artistic and cultural offering in their area.

Following contact and discussions with the full range of social actors and partner organisations, many participants become interested and get involved in the socio-artistic projects:

  • Young people who have dropped out of school, or are on training or into-work schemes.
  • Children, young people and families from social housing neighbourhoods, foster children, children and young people in care.
  • Children, young people and families involved in extra-curricular educational, community or municipal activities (social and community centres, leisure centres, resource centres, media libraries, etc.).
  • Young people, adults and families who have just arrived in France.
  • Adults on social inclusion schemes claiming earned income support and housed in social accommodation centres.
  • Young people under legal protection, in jail or an open prison.
  • Seniors on the minimum pension or who are isolated.
  • Young people and adults with intellectual disabilities or autism.
  • Adults with mental or psychiatric disorders.
  • Patients or residents of healthcare institutions.

Opera outreach programmes run throughout the year and are designed with partner establishments or target audiences; participants are regularly invited to attend Festival events before seeing the show. The programmes include workshops with artist-educators, meetings to discuss, exchange opinions or workshops about the works, visits to set construction workshops and production venues, sessions with artists and technicians, etc.

Educational performances provide young people and families in particular with an opportunity to discover the many facets of opera in an enjoyable, hands-on way. The Festival Académie’s young participants, young artists involved in the Festival programme take Musical Encounters to audiences in hospital settings, social housing projects and isolated areas.


With the support of local job centres and work-integration structures, the Opera Backstage Course organises meetings with the Festival's technical teams for young people and adults who are interested in discovering technical, back-stage know-how in the performing arts.

Since 2018, Open Day at the set-construction workshops in Venelles, reserved for individuals participating in on-the-job training programmes, has offered a half-day of meetings and conversation with roughly fifteen technicians in the fields of carpentry, decorating, audio-visual, wig-making and lighting.

Artistic practice projects for pure beginners are run as part of festive days, one-off meetings with associations and creative residencies are an opportunity for participants to approach opera and music sensitively and expressively. These include lyric voice and choral singing, visual and sound arts, intercultural creations focusing particularly on Mediterranean or Afro-American music, and musical and vocal improvisation in public spaces, accompanied by musicians and choreographers.

2021 Projects 

Awareness-raising programmes tailor-made to each opera at Festival d’Aix 2021, with:

  • Presentations and creative workshops allowing a personal and sensitive approach of the works (choir singing, writing, plastic and visual arts, theatre, dance, etc.)
  • Meetings with the technical teams with at the workshops of the Festival in Venelles and the open days to discover the set of the Archevêché, Grand Théâtre de Provence or Théâtre du Jeu de Paume.
  • Musical events and meetings with the Festival artists in social housing districts in towns and villages in the area and thematic days to discover a lyric voice or staging developed with partner associations.

Two amateur artistic projects:
- Nausicaa XXI
 : Organised by the Marseille association Sublimes Portes, the Nausicaa XXI project challenges the notion of hospitality and the vestiges of exile in the Mediterranean. From March to June 2021, Sylvie Paz and Maura Guerrera (both singers and members of Dames de la Joliette) will conduct workshops focusing on body rhythms, with a class of young first-year students at the Lycée Professionnel Gambetta technical college in Aix-en-Provence. An end-of-course public performance is planned for the summer of 2021.

- Banjo : Led by the Marseille company Rara Woulib, who have participated in Passerelles projects since 2016, this project questions the concept of the Marseille identity today: What connects us with Marseille? What makes someone a Marseillais? The city was constructed from a melting pot of cultures, and continues to incorporate a steady flow of newcomers: it is a unique city in constant mutation, whose roots extend to several continents. Vocal, dance and theatrical workshops will be organised with interns from the École de la Deuxième Chance de Marseille and aim to establish a collective repertoire based on the musical heritage of the participants. The workshops will allow those participating to elaborate “transmission protocols,” in which any of the participants who wishes to do so may take a turn at sharing his or her own song or dance heritage with the other members of the group, aided by the artistic leaders. These workshops will lead to several public performances during the first half of 2021 that will recount Marseille at a specific moment in time, by drawing from traditions and making them current through modern instrumentation, or by mixing both traditional and contemporary dance with the help of a choreographer. The project will concentrate on going beyond our differences and diverse origins in order to become a group.