Prize for Education
The Marriage of Figaro, a participatory opera © Marion Kerno i
Following its invention in Italy, Participatory Opera arrived in France in November 2010 at Rouen’s Théâtre des Arts. It has been tirelessly promoted season after season by the Opéra de Rouen Normandie (ORN) with a succession of productions and first performances that have met with growing success.
Participatory opera owes its existence to the theories of Professor Carlo Delfrati. As a project that is both educational and artistic, it involves adapting a lyric work by translating it into the audience’s mother tongue and making cuts for a performance duration of approximately 75 minutes. Passages in the opera are also designated for singing by the audience, preferably an audience of children. In order to optimise audience singing during the actual performance, learning materials, including a CD and booklet, are provided to them several weeks in advance. Rehearsals are also organised to ensure that these “performers for a day” get the best possible preparation. Lastly, it would be a pity to forget that when a participatory opera is programmed, this enables many adults accompanying their children to discover lyric art for themselves.
The participatory opera for the Opéra de Rouen Normandie 2019-2020 season will consist of a condensed French-language version of the Marriage of Figaro, a coproduction with the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. Stage direction will be by Gilles Rico. The production will be performed in Rouen between 12 and 21 January 2020 on 11 dates, of which 8 will be intended for school audiences, representing a potential attendance of 14,300. Participatory opera at Opéra de Rouen Normandie will thus be celebrating its 10th edition.