The shoulders raised, Sofia, 9 years old, takes his inspiration and sings the first note. As the 300 children from the Hauts-de-France backgrounds “distant music”, she has sung Ravel, Offenbach or Bizet at the Opéra de Lille, Sunday, 2 June. “The aim is to mix these children from different neighborhoods and backgrounds together around a project that is artistic, strong, open, music, opera to a public which has not the habit,” explained to the AFP Brigitte Rose, head of training and artistic Finoreille, a project funded in particular by the ministry of Culture for 2015.

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eighteen free workshops, spread throughout the region cater to children 8 to 12 years old from neighbourhoods or communes “away from the music for reasons of social, cultural or geographical”. “It made me want to go to the opera, then my dad took me to see The magic Flute ,” says Sofia, CE2 at the school of Littré, in the south of Lille.

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If the project does not have the vocation of teaching music theory, it offers tools to understand the music and to ‘improve’ self-esteem’. “It is an honor. Usually, we are not going to the opera, notes Myriam Gerrebout, came to see his son enrolled at Guînes (Pas-de-Calais). It is not every day that they will have this opportunity there.”

On the stairs leading to the foyer, Merab Namoyan takes a selfie with her daughter in the gilding of the ceiling. “This is awesome”, smiled the man of Georgian origin, who had never entered an opera house.

The Lille Opera has multiplied in recent years, initiatives to attract a new audience, such as broadcasts of live concerts in several communes of the Hauts-de-France. “The search for a new public is a permanent construction site, ensures Caroline Sonrier, director of the Lille Opera. It is necessary to continue to reinvent itself.”