The Maîtrise Populaire of the Opéra-Comique

The Maîtrise Populaire de l'Opéra-Comique, is an artistic, educational and social project founded by Sarah Koné. It accompanies 120 young people aged 8 to 25 and trains them in the performing arts throughout their schooling.


A human and artistic adventure, the Maîtrise Populaire de l'Opéra-Comique is a school where motivation and talent are the keys to success, and where students learn self-esteem, autonomy, the demands of artistic work and a taste for teamwork. The curriculum offers training in the performing arts with special timetables (CHAM and double curriculum). 

The teaching provided by a team of 15 teachers focuses on voice work, but also on multi-disciplinary activities: dance, tap dancing, Dalcroze musical training, theatre, piano, etc.

On-stage activities are at the heart of the teaching programme: the Maîtrise is called upon around thirty times a season to give concerts and take part in performances in the Salle Favart season or elsewhere: participation in Bizet's Carmen directed by Andreas Homoki and conducted by Louis Langrée, L'Autre Voyage after Schubert, conducted by Raphaël Pichon and directed by Silvia Costa, and so on.

One production a year in the Opéra-Comique season is entirely dedicated to the Maîtrise Populaire de l'Opéra-Comique (Offenbach's Le Voyage dans la Lune, 2020-2023, directed by Laurent Pelly, Archipel(s) by Isabelle Aboulker and Adrien Borne, 2024, directed by James Bonas).

Recruitment takes place every year through auditions at the theatre, but also in schools in the Paris region identified as priority schools, in the form of a "recruitment tour" to ensure the social and geographical diversity of the Maîtrise. 
Social diversity is a daily challenge.


To join the Maîtrise Populaire de l'Opéra-Comique, auditions are held in two rounds each year at the Opéra-Comique.

To ensure social and geographical diversity, a recruitment tour is also organised in parallel in primary schools located in communes close to Paris and identified as Priority Education Networks (REP and REP plus).

In 2018, the Maîtrise Populaire de l'Opéra-Comique went to Saint-Ouen; in 2019, to Bagneux; in 2020, to Ivry-sur-Seine; and, in 2021, to the outskirts of Paris, in the 19th and 20th arrondissements, in 2022 to Arcueil, in 2023 to Ivry-sur-Seine, and in 2024 to Gennevilliers.

Registration for the 24/25 season is now closed. Applications for the 25/26 season will open in autumn 2024.

« Working with the Maîtrise is about “belonging ” and building a shared identity. It’s about having a collective dream and giving each other the means to achieve it, whatever the difficulties »

Sarah Koné Director of the Maîtrise Populaire

La tournée de recrutement © Quentin Croisard


The Maîtrise Populaire de l'Opéra-Comique focuses above all on the voice, the most accessible instrument of all, but it is the multi-disciplinary nature of the training that sets it apart. Students take classes in vocal technique, choral singing, dance, Dalcroze musical training, tap dancing, theatre and piano. This enables them to learn about music in a different way, in an approach that decompartmentalises and connects intellectual listening with physical listening.

Artistic activities on stage are also at the heart of the teaching. The Maîtrise Populaire de l'Opéra-Comique is called upon an average of 35 times a year for concerts, productions and participation in shows, both at the Salle Favart and elsewhere.



The Maîtrise Populaire de l'Opéra-Comique is located at 32 rue François Miron in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, next to Collège François Couperin (4th arrondissement), a partner establishment.

First-cycle students attend Collège François Couperin (Paris 4), while second-cycle students follow a dual curriculum at lycée général Henri Bergson (Paris 19) or lycée professionnel l'Abbé Grégoire (Paris 5). 

Since September 2018, a post-bac 3rd cycle has been open for students who wish to go on to higher artistic studies. It is open to students at the end of their second cycle at the master's level and takes place over three years.

Finally, since the start of the school year in September 2019, the Maîtrise Populaire de l'Opéra-Comique has opened a preparatory cycle, the pré-maîtrise, for CM1 and CM2 pupils, educated at the 41B Tanger school (Paris 19). The aim is to introduce elementary school pupils to the multi-disciplinary approach of the Maîtrise Populaire de l'Opéra-Comique's curriculum and to encourage future secondary school pupils to take an interest in choral singing.

Behind the scenes of the Maîtrise Populaire

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Family event
Young audiences programme

Concert de la Maîtrise Populaire

January 10 to 12, 2025

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Family event
Young audiences programme

Concert de la Pré-Maîtrise et des 6e

June 05 to 06, 2025

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Rehearsals of Carmen

Family event
Young audiences programme

Pré-Maîtrise concert

May 15 to 16, 2024

Family event
Young audiences programme

Christmas concert of the Maîtrise Populaire

December 14 to 16, 2023

Young audiences programme

Macbeth or he whose name must not be spoken

November 17 to 18, 2023



April 25 to May 05, 2024


L'Autre Voyage

February 01 to 11, 2024


Macbeth Underworld

November 06 to 12, 2023



April 24 to May 04, 2023

Family event

Le Voyage dans la Lune

January 24 to February 03, 2023



February 27 to March 05, 2023

The shows of the Maîtrise Populaire

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Educational team

Artistic direction, stage direction
Sarah Koné

Choral singing and vocal ensemble

Sarah Koné (All cycles)
Clara Brenier (All cycles)
Caroline Calvo (pré-maîtrise)

Technique vocale, chant accompagnement et chant technique
Dorothée Voisine (2ème cycle, 3ème cycle)
Katia Weimann (3ème cycle, chant accompagnement)
Joséphine Ambroselli (3ème cycle, chant accompagnement)
Caroline Calvo (Pré-Maitrise, 1er cycle)

Formation musicale
Anne-Laure Kénol (Tous les cycles)
Lucile Mathevet (Pré-Maitrise)

Anna Krempp (tous les cycles)

Christine Bonneton (Tous les cycles)
Tuomas Lathi (Pré-Maitrise)


David Lasserre (All cycles)

Culture musicale
Mickaël Andrieu (3ème cycle)


To meet the multiple objectives of the Maîtrise Populaire, the teaching team brings together specialized teachers, trained in the largest French institutions (Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris, CNSMD, Higher Center for Artistic Education in Paris) and international (Compagnie de Merce Cunningham, Julliard School, Lausanne Conservatory).

Directrice artistique de la Maîtrise Populaire
Sarah Koné
Adjointe en charge de la Maîtrise Populaire
Marion Nimaga-Brouwet
Responsable de la scolarité
Rachida M'hamed

Support of the Maîtrise Populaire of the Opéra-Comique

This project is supported by Aline Foriel-Destezet, Major Patron of the Opéra-Comique