Fablopéra, a show performed by young children from Santes, which mixes opera and La Fontaine

Opera on lyrics by Jean de La Fontaine? This is the challenge that Catherine and Denis Delabre posed to themselves with the participating project “Fabl’opéra”. Have children from the CM1 and CM2 classes and the “Chanton Ensemble” choir lyrically declare the fables of La Fontaine.




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The Agora room was transformed into a hall at the Opéra Garnier for two evenings, Tuesday and Wednesday. A small crazy project imagined by Catherine Delabre, councilor delegate for the animation of the heart of the city, and Denis, her husband, music teacher, more than a year and a half ago, by appointment with Hiazid Belabbes, mayor of the municipality and the academic supervision.

With Denis, this is what we have designed together with the main idea of ​​uniting people around a common project. Very quickly a dynamic set in, even though I had some disappointments. As the project progressed, the good cohabitation developed and everyone who wanted to get involved found their place. The project was enriched by the opinions and comments made. »Launch of exercises in September 2021 as well as production of scenery and costumes.

As La Fontaine’s fables are part of the school’s curriculum, the musical part became quite easily integrated thanks to the significant commitment of the teaching staff. Eighty children from Matisse, Notre-Dame and Sainte-Thérèse schools, accompanied by twenty singers from “Let’s sing together”, interpreted seven fables under Denis’ magic wand, promoted to “male orchestra” for the occasion.

For Denis, the challenge is daunting, namely ” to sing children who do not read sheet music and cannot opera “. And to continue:
I started from scratch. Should it take? Pretty soon the kids got excited about it and found interest in it. A visit to the Little Opera and the discovery of related professions convinced them. It is very formative. It’s all the more gratifying that this show was put together thanks to the involvement of everyone in a village like Santes.
“. Two repetitions later, the puzzle is assembled and the sequences settled.

La Fontaine was on stage, brilliantly interpreted by Gisèle.
La Fontaine was on stage, brilliantly interpreted by Gisèle. – VDN

The show would not have been complete without the presence of Jean de La Fontaine, role admirably interpreted by Gisèle, larger than life in her period costume. Gisèle secured the transitions by discovering or rediscovering the classics. Credit, where to be credited, the fable The Fox and the Crow acts as a common thread for the representation. The public could listen to i.a. The wolf and the lamb, The turtle and the two ducks, The wolf and the dog. The interludes were the occasion for sketches full of humor that involved many students dressed as crows.

Catherine and Denis remain evasive about the idea of ​​a show for next year, “
It’s a big investment, but ideas are in the head
So be patient.






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Stage music Musikteater Folkeskole Santes (59211, Nord)

Marc LeBlanc
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