In Toulouse, the Théâtre du Capitole meets students

Because of the confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Théâtre du Capitole no longer receives an audience and can no longer accommodate children, who usually come to discover lyrical singing and opera. Christophe Ghristi, artistic director of the Capitol, did not want to leave these educational projects on hold: “I said to myself, let’s not wait any longer, let’s go to classes to organize a little concert”. He wanted to share the beauty, spirit and intelligence of music as much as possible.

Making opera accessible to young people

“Opera is the simplest thing in the world, it’s an extremely direct art”, explains Christophe Ghristi, who wants to show students that this art is not so far from them. “We want to arouse envy and appetite in young people”, he adds. At her side, soprano Anaïs Constans shares her passion for singing with the students. She hopes to generate vocations and has encouraged college students who follow a singing option to continue “Whatever their level”.

→ THE FACTS. Coronavirus: the Capitole of Toulouse, an opera house in the face of the crisis

Accompanied by pianist Nino Pavlenichvili, the lyric singer has chosen to perform four short pieces that are easy to listen to for young people. The mini-recital begins with the aria by Zerlina, the maid in Don Juan, which expresses both tenderness and energy. Then comes the air of Micaëla, in Carmen, a song in French, with great lyrical lines. The concert continues with the poem Green by Verlaine, set to music by Debussy and ends with The tragic story of little René, a children’s song by Francis Poulenc.

With these different pieces, Anaïs Constans wants to transmit several sound emotions: comic, bucolic or tragic, to show the extent of opera’s possibilities. She helps young people discover this environment, often unknown to young people.. “We know that not all students can come to the concert. The idea is really to bring opera to them ”, she explains.

Moments of meeting and sharing

After concerts, students are often in shock, overwhelmed by emotion. “They were amazed at the power of the singing voice”, notes Christophe Ghristi. The soprano notices that during the recital “Some stop their ears, because they are not used to it”.

Young people thought lyrical singers wore microphones: “They had proof that there was no cheating”, laughs Anaïs Constans. She adds that “The meetings gave rise to very rich and very interesting exchanges”.

The first meetings were a success, they continue until December 18 with the soprano Céline Laborie, who will be accompanied by the pianist Cyril Kubler. Together, they will perform other pieces. When the Théâtre du Capitole is open again, the artistic director Christophe Ghristi wishes to extend the adventure. “It’s happening in such an extraordinary way, I hope to continue after confinement”, he confides.


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