Music is usually not included in the curriculum of French lycées. The purpose of the project developed with the Opéra Comique is to introduce baroque music to an eleventh grade class at the lycée Diderot in Paris, which is based on the sciences and technology. The class involved in the project includes 33 pupils ten of which being girls. Only five of them have musical practice.
The pupils studied Pascal Quignard’s novel Tous les matins du monde and were introduced to Marin Marais. They have also been acquainted with the viola da gamba and seventeenth century music through their listening to several pieces. The relationships between biography and fiction as well as the way literature conjures up music were also addressed.
They were asked to write an essay on the opera Alcione they attended at the Opéra Comique on April 26th. They were offered several instructions: rewrite a passage of the opera with the viewpoint of one of the characters or write a text whose subject is “sea storm”.
Our purpose is to let the pupils’ sensibility, imagination and creativity be freely expressed and provide them with a gateway to the work of Marin Marais and the production which was their first operatic experience.