Gregory Rose, direction – Olivia Kahler, Soprano – Julie-Anne Moutongo-Black, Alto – Blaise Rantoanina, Tenor – Sébastien Tonnel, Bass.
It all starts with a video of Handel’s Messiah being sung in London by The Really Big Chorus. An audience of 5 000, of which 2 800 are singers fill The Albert Hall. The decision is made: we must try that in Paris. With the idea of sharing a wider outlook: registration of choristers without prior selection, a team of volunteers and professional artists working for free, and at the end a donation to support people with autism. The adventure starts.
First difficulty, the following question of the parishioners of The Church of La Madeleine: “where will your choir be coming from?”
Gregory Rose, direction – Marie Perbost, Soprano – Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian, Counter-Tenor – Jeremy Kalvar, Tenor – Andoni Etcharren, Bass.
Three weeks after the attacks in Paris, the concert at La Madeleine was maintained. However, stands were installed for the 550 choristers which had to be at a distance from each other. The sound revolves, harmony is complicated, but everyone holds on, the whiffs of the mulled wine wafting into the church is a little surreal and the energy is there!
Gildas Harnois, direction – Judith Charron, Soprano – Dorothée Thivet, Alto – Charles Mesrine, Tenor – Olivier Déjean, Bass.
Gone are the boas and the mulled wine, and in come the scarves and the champagne!
Superb Opéra Comique which can seat 600 singers and whose acoustics are perfect. The “little choir” makes its appearance as does Gildas Harnois, who with the orchestra and the soloists are all volunteers. Magnificent speech given by Thomas Bourgeron in which he compares well organized research to an orchestra in which each person is indispensable working towards a goal which transcends them.
Gildas Harnois, direction – Isabelle Philippe, Soprano – Julie-Anne Moutongo-Black, Alto – François-Nicolas Geslot, Tenor – Lisandro Abadie, Bass.
The second concert at Opéra Comique, we can’t resist the pleasure of moving all the chairs at La madeleine for the rehearsal on Saturday – in 2019 in a record time, just 20 minutes to get everything in place (buffets and chairs, yes ladies and gentlemen!!).
The other challenge was to free the Foyer of l’Opéra Comique of the enthusiastic singers who after two days of Handel’s Messiah were singing… operatic arias!
Gildas Harnois, direction – Tatiana Probst, Soprano – Sophie Pondjiclis, Alto – Kaëlig Boché, Tenor – Nabil Suliman, Bass.
We faced a novel challenge: health worries. But we believed in the project, and we did everything possible to welcome 800 singers to the théâtre du Châtelet, which itself put all its heart into the event. The concert sold out, the Châtelet was packed, and the Messiah filled the hall. The measures we’d put in place, and our enthusiasm in the face of adversity, came through in the end: nobody lost out to illness, and all 2,000 in the hall were joyful to share in the beauty!
We imagine a giraffe as being gentle and majestic, ours is facetious. She tells us that you can do things in a serious manner without taking yourself seriously, that it’s important to have fun. Our team is like the giraffe, a mix of imagination and good humour in spite of working hard in the midst of difficulties.
La Girafe Lyrique was created in 2012 to promote choral singing in France and abroad. Its ‘raison d’être’ Is music and choral singing which awaken us to beauty and creating links. It’s in its DNA, music and choral singing are universal – for everybody, and whatever their way of life – and generous – the organization depends on numerous inspired volunteers, the benefits of Venite Cantemus are donated to medical research. It’s in its attitude: audacious, welcoming as well as challenging. La Girafe Lyrique also offers support in putting together a choir within a business context (Choeur de la Banque at BNP Paribas), and accompanies singers taking part in other concerts from scratch (London, Berlin, Leiden in the Netherlands).
La Girafe Lyrique has the following French identification number SIRET 799 162 938 in its statutes. Donors will be granted tax advantages (business, art. 238bis du CGI) (individuals, art. 200 du CGI).
150 volunteers will be happily welcoming you, and organizing the logistics.
Inhabitants, shopkeepers, sponsors or friends, with so much goodwill to share.
Please join us!
Marie, rules over the email, answers questions, and is pleased to brush up on her English and her Spanish.
Gilles and Philippe recrute and organise the orchestra, putting together a musical ensemble of people from ages 13 to 73, both generous and talented. Just like G and P.
Doriane, our singing expert, is energy itself.
Céline, who organizes the ‘petit choeur’ – on stage – , rehearsals outside Paris, and finds young professionals, and all that from far away Australia.
Christine, Pandora, Hattie, Diane, Benoist and Bénédicte, Ghislaine, , fairies (and elfs) of the welcoming team, thanks to whom you can be housed, fed and can discover Paris.
Rémi, Sylvie and Pierre-Yves, our data processing experts who deal with ticketing and seating.
Nathalie, who is fast becoming unbeatable on the subject of mental issues, and is in charge of relations with our recipients..
Rémi, the Secretary, deals with insurance, legislation, and is redoubtable on the subject of logistics.
Bernard, the Treasurer, king of excel tables.
Béryl, never without his bow tie, searches for and finds indispensable partners without whom all this would be a pipe dream, don’t let’s forget that.
Vincent et Brigitte (Birgit since our voyage in the Netherlands) pilot the technical controls.
Anne-Cyrille and Marin, the magicians who make the models, illustrations, images, the essentials of communication.
Gabrielle, the President. Says there isn’t much more to do. Ah, except of course, the chocolate cake for team meetings, or the visio link according to circumstances…
Venite Cantemus has a wonderful support system which takes various forms: financial, logistical, artistic, and skills sponsorship. Artists, large and small firms, shopkeepers, individuals, a set of skills and availabilities together around a project.