Nice, with Babel, opera is a children’s play

Four solo artists on stage and 135 schoolchildren from Nice. Babel is a participatory opera aimed at raising public awareness about the fate of the planet. Six performances from 21 to 30 June, and delighted with a sponsored project: Ian Arthus-Bertrand.

There are people on the stage Excellent opera dykesmy. Babel’s dress rehearsal that day.

For the first time, musicians – percussionists and pianists from the Opera House and the Conservatory -, conductors, four soloists, directors and 135 schoolgirls involved in the project Get together to share their work.

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In the corridor, a school yard, but as soon as the children come on stage there is silence and complete concentration.

Maggie Thomas, both author and director of Libreto, and Sergio Monterisi, composer and conductor, have been working with these CM1 and CM2 students at the school for 10 months to teach them songs, dances, comedy games. This is the last straight line before the first performance: rehearsals up to five hours every day, all week. Are they easy to carry? “No!” Sergio Monterisi answered us directly. “Nothing is easy”.

There is energy, enthusiasm, passion, kids. We must send them all the artistic discipline, the concentration. It’s not easy for eight-year-olds. Give them all!

Sergio Monterisi, composer and conductor

None of the children auditioned for this opera. Classes were selected in collaboration with National Education and the City of Nice, where such cultural activities were considered the most beneficial. “We tend to do shows for kids”The conductor explains. “With Magali, we think the most effective thing is to put children at the center of creation. If they are our opera actors, they fit it and it becomes their message, their artistic journey.”

The important thing is to give them direct access to the industry, so that they are always open to beauty.

And Babel All that? What a connection between this show and its history This tower, according to the Bible, was built by man out of pride to touch the sky ?

We are living in an age where the Babylonian symbol is getting stronger and stronger: we spend too much, we want to take power. Some understand that the planet will not be able to handle it. In our show, with the children of Babylon, we want to go back to Babylon, before pride, before food. We may be dreaming, but he who does not dream gets nothing!

Maggie Thomas, writer and director

So this is the story of a little girl who, like Greta Thanberg, will hear magma, the heart of the planet, tired, dying. His message: Only children can save the planet. Their mission is to coordinate the elements, find universal languages ​​for understanding each other, and make the planet safer.

Miraculously spotted at the Cannes Film Festival, photographer Ian Arthus-Bertrand, who turned saving the planet into a battle of his life, liked the project of Magali Thomas and Sergio Monterrey.

Today the Godfather of Opera Babel, It is his image that forms the decor. Child, which he filmed at the rehearsal as part of his next photo “France, a love story”Annoy him:

I have been searching for the beauty of the world all my life. I was looking for the most beautiful forest, desert, animals. And finally, what is beauty? It is the people who do, who give, who share. This beauty is called love. And I saw so much love in that rehearsal! It pierced my heart.

Ian Arthus-Bertrand, Godfather of Opera Babel

The Babel project and the involvement of children have reassured the president of the GoodPlanet Foundation in his hopes: “We can all believe that we can change The world And we’re going to do it! “

Along with opera and musicians from various conservatories in the region, the children also answered Four professionals alone In the role of material. Mejo Nolia Ebenez (Gaia), Soprano Rachel Dockett (Fire and water), tenor Raphael Garden (Air), Magali ThomasMejo (magma) itself and Holiday number. Baritone, who lends his voice to Ozone and Earth, seems to enjoy working and playing with his eight-year-old partners.

Are they beginners? “No!” Baritone answers. “They’ve been working for months, they’ve already been confirmed!”

They are excellent playmates! The kids have the answers, the offers. We have fun on stage with them. It carries a unified voice, a unified message.

And what did they learn during this adventurous time?

Confidence! I hated being in public …

I’ve learned that if you’re wrong, you’re right!

I learned that I had a secret voice. Basically I don’t like my voice. But there, singing in front of so many people, discovering him, it’s wonderful for me!

Opera Babel will be served from June 21 to 30. With two performances open to the public: June 22 on the second stage of the Dykesmie and June 30 on the stage of the Opera de Nice. For just 5 euros, come and discover the message of the children of the universe and Babylon.

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