Education Prize 2022



Couloir centre carcéral (1)

Winner of the FEDORA Education Prize
€50,000 with the support of Carlara International


Panoptique is a dialogue between Schubert's work and contemporary experiences of confinement. A meeting point between the stage, musical aesthetics and closed environments (carceral and psychiatric). A journey through a blank landscape where bodies and voices seek to inscribe themselves.

World Premiere: 20 April 2024 - Saint-Omer, France
Events details and tickets are available here.


Panoptique grew out of workshops held in Belgian prisons by Sarah Théry, and the desire felt by some detainees to re-visit the classical repertoire from their own perspective: create bridges between librettos and their own lives, and insert their own electro music word within the acoustic classical music.

Throughout a 2 year journey, leading them in 3 countries, 4 penitentiary units and 2 psychiatric hospitals, the COLLECTIF MEUTE proposes a large scale scenic project with more than a 100 participants.

Panoptique is an innovative choral rendering of one of the pieces that resonated the most with the participants, Schubert's Winterreise.

By setting up a dialogue between Schubert's composition and amplified improvised music, and by confronting Wilhelm Müller's text with contemporary experiences of confinement, a new dramatugy emerges. A dramaturgy that takes into consideration today's societal challenges and mobilise the various dimensions of opera: music, narrative/libretto, stage direction, scenography, costumes, lighting...

On stage, five musicians interpret this choral re-composition. Between classical and contemporary music, this object-performance of 1½ hours duration incorporates the audio testimonies and compositions of the participants.

By means of an immersive stage production devised by Claire Pasquier and the visual artist Joanie Lemercier, the public will be both spectator and participator in what happens on stage: the mental and physical confinement of a narrator caught in an infinite loop of past and present.

Panoptique is committed to an artistic practice which seeks to expand its public while drawing it into the creation process. This involves collaborating, co-creating and composing together at every stage.

Panoptique gives power back to the participants, inviting them to co-create, co-construct and collaborate on a total art work (Gesamtkunstwerk) which will echo their reality.

Restoring a voice to people who, through their confinement, are left out of the public debate

Panoptique is a dialogue between the stage and secure institutions, both psychiatric and carceral. It proposes a programme of creation and collaboration with inmates and patients through the creation of a contemporary dramaturgy of confinement; a parallel version of the narrator's wanderings. The standard progression through workshop, rehearsal and performance is jettisoned in favour of a meshing of trajectories.

Returning the power of creation to people rendered fragile by their experiences

A creative voyage for people with disabilities, racialised people, and those living in precarity, all of whom find themselves under confinement or semi-confinement, at the margins of society. To grasp the specifics of the milieu, the artists work at the same location for several weeks at a time. The aim is to build confidence with the participants so that the co-creation can unfold within a closed environment.

Collaborating with the partners throughout the creation

The creative itinerary is designed together with the partner institutions -the psychiatric units and penitentiary centres. Their specialised knowledge and familiarity with the participants make it possible to tailor the programme to the specific conditions. The professional staff from these institutions will be invited to participate in the workshops, opening up transformative spaces in the carer/patient and guard/detainee relationships. This participation will underwrite the long-term cohesion between their institutions and the local cultural actors and institutions.

Video Presentation

Artistic Team

The team for Panoptique is pluridisciplinary. It blends artists with producers, researchers, cultural actors specialising in audience development, and socio-educational instructors; all of whom, from the inception of the project, co-construct the content and its implementation. The diversity of partners makes it possible to co-construct a coherent project adapted to the localities and the people encountered there. Through the partnership with the University of Lille, an in-depth analysis can be made of the practices and impacts of the project. The artistic team itself is a coalition of different skills and influences drawn from a range of milieux. The graphic and visual artist Joanie Lemercier, the lyrical compagnie COLLECTIF MEUTE (Claire Pasquier, Sarah Théry), the chamber musician Christia Hudziy and the innovative electronic music group Pompéi (Gilles Mortiaux, Karim Gharbi, Quentin Manfroy) . Each in their own way, these artists question the modalities of production, the interactions and hierarchies inherent to creation in music and the performing arts. Originating from a range of different countries - Belgium, Tunisia, Ukraine, England and France, amongst others - all of these artists have developed their own individual working methods. Separately and together, they are determined to take account of the social dynamics of today's world and to reserve a prominent place within their teams for women and members of the LGBTQI community, who are still too often absent from decision-making committees. The artists are equally committed to the principle of sustainable development. The Opéra de Lille, co-producer of the project, was the first French opera house to be awarded the international ISO 20121 certificate in recognition of its environmental and social practices. This sense of civil responsibility is of primary importance to Joanie Lemercier, who campaigns for an environmentally sensitive approach to be adopted in the digital and virtual arts.

Collectif Meute

Collectif Meute

Artistic Director






Stage Director

Gilles Mortiaux

Gilles Mortiaux



Opéra de Lille

Opéra de Lille


Ministère de la Culture France / Culture Justice

Ministère de la Culture France



Ministère de la Justice France



DRAC Hauts-de-France



Région Hauts-de-France


Logo ville de Lille

Ville de Lille



MEL - Métropole Européenne de Lille



Britten Pears Arts

United Kingdom


Support sustainable innovation in opera and dance

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