Young people with autism discover the Opera

For the second year in a row, we have provided support for the Massy Opera and its programme "Une année d’Opéra à Massy" (a year of opera in Massy). The project aims to give everyone, and especially people with disabilities, access to opera.


Throughout the school year, Charles Péguy middle school students with autism have joined their parents and teachers for a behind-the-scenes look at the Massy Opera. They discovered the performing arts with a series of workshops on singing, dance, make-up and an introduction to the world of opera.

It was an excellent experience for professionals and budding artists alike: "I really liked the maracas," says Chrys. Tracy adds "I liked being the conductor and directing the musicians, and most of all I loved playing the tambourine." Conductor Dominique Spagnolo shares their enthusiasm: "You can tell that they experience music on a very profound level. They each express it in their own way. It’s amazing to see how they receive, capture, memorise and feel the music. The first girl I handed my baton to directed the piece I had just done with all the fast and slow passages, entirely from memory. It’s incredible. I was just blown away."

>>>Photos of the dance workshop (click to see a larger view).

 

New features for this year

The Massy Opera wanted to add new workshops to this year’s programme. We provided support for free tickets to performances for the participants, their parents and teachers. Thanks to our support, they were able to attend Transmission, the latest creation by Massy Opera choreographer in residence Julien Lestel, and the play l’Ile au trésor (Treasure Island), presented at the Longjumeau Theatre by the Comédie du Fol Espoir troupe.

Dance as a way to exchange

On 16 and 17 June, Julien Lestel and his lead dancer Gilles Porte taught a dance workshop for Charles Péguy middle school students. During the two-day workshop, the students absorbed Max Richter’s score for Transmission and expressed it with their bodies.
The workshop, which focused on exchanges and discovery, closed with a tremendous moment of sharing, when the students illuminated the stage of the Massy Opera under the admiring and emotional gaze of their families, teachers, and the Opera company.

See the video of their performance "Un Voyage à L’Opéra" (A Journey at the Opera)

 

 

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