Since the dawn of time, parents have told their children fairy tales, stories of the past and stories drawn from the imagination, which help children to develop a moral compass, a set of values, an identity and a sense of context and relationships, which enable them to imagine their own futures.

The Opera, presented as tales for children, provides an ideal transition between the end of a stage during which children can dream of imaginary princes and princesses, in a rose-tinted world where Santa Claus and his reindeer live, and the time of disillusionment … where often everything collapses at once, as the loss of faith in Santa Claus casts a chill over all other dreams … it’s so disappointing to discover that for so many years, your parents, albeit with love, have been telling you a pack of lies …

What a disappointment to discover that all these stories aren’t real … that your parents have been lying.  How should you think about your parents now?  Can you still trust them?

I’m exaggerating, of course  :) … but all the same, it changes the way you look at things!

When the Opera tells a story, the child knows in advance that it’s just a show, and he or she can be a part of it …
Today, when the search for identity has become more and more confused, a source of exclusion and conflict, the opera provides an inexhaustible source of links with our history, the history of our civilization, relationships between people, friendships betrayed, love thwarted, human dramas, and above all: joyful intrigues …

Since 1987, the opera school for children in Geneva has taken operas and told them to children as stories, building scale models and animating them with coloured-in drawings of characters and scenery. The music rings out, and already, they’re caught up in the story …

The course takes place for three hours each Wednesday, over a two year period, during which they cover the “Grand Repertoire”, from Caccini to Mozart, from Puccini to Verdi, and from Bizet to Prokofiev … it’s all fair game for dreams and creativity.

The singing technique taught at the school is unique, as it was created especially for the children by Sophie Ellen Franck, whose passion for teaching has led her to expand and enrich the learning methods.  Everything is both serious and playful at the same time.  After all, it’s Wednesday – a time to learn and develop while having fun.
What a surprise for the mothers when they see their children singing alone on the big stage, just a few weeks later …
The development of a sense of awareness of the body, of posture, of breathing exercises and of sound bites creates, little by little, a happy child.