Aix en Provence



Next July, the Festival d’Aix will be presenting Orfeo & Majnun, an international project consisting of a participatory urban walkabout followed by a free open-air opera, in a co-production with seven European partners.

In preparation for the event itself, a number of initiatives and a variety of workshops are planned to take place until next summer in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, to encourage participants and future audience members to embrace this popular, fun artistic project!

Since autumn 2017, Passerelles departments have been working together to prepare for this major artistic composed of two main events:

  • A urban participative, festive and civic walking tour on the Cours Mirabeau in Aix-en-Provence on 24 June 2018, involving several hundreds of amateurs from the region taking part into creative workshops and multidisciplinary artistic projects.
  • The free openair opera Orfeo & Majnun on Cours Mirabeau on 8 July 2018, involving 150 amateur choristers from the region’s community, university and school choirs.

This opera dovetails the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice with the Persian legend of Layla and Majnun, two of the greatest love stories of East and West. Consequently, this work celebrates the power of music, which is able to transcend absence, to defy death and to charm both the gods and wild beasts alike.

The Orfeo & Majnun project fully engages the Festival d’Aix as part of the MP2018 Quel Amour! adventure with Orfeo & Majnun. In a declaration of love to the arts, artists and the region, Marseille-Provence 2018 (MP2018) aims to make the Bouches-du-Rhône resound – for seven months starting from February 2018 – to the rhythm of culture and creativity, bringing all disciplines together around an inspiring, positive and universal theme – Quel Amour! From Marseilles to Arles via Aubagne, Martigues, Istres, Salon-de-Provence, Cassis and Miramas, MP2018 is a joint venture that aspires to share the artistic wealth of the region, to raise awareness of the beauty of its landscape and to encourage the presentation of works and resident mobility throughout the department.


In the frame of MP2018 and prior to the launch of this great cultural initiative in the region, 180,000 young people from 120 schools in the Bouches-du-Rhône area will be given an artistic toolkit by the end of the year.
In order to participate to this initiative, the Festival d’Aix asked the three composers of Orfeo & Majnun to write three short songs for the children, in French, Arabic and English:

In addition to this artistic kit, teachers and their students can access a digital kit from the dedicated website This gives access to some multimedia and educational content designed to demystify the artistic proposals contained in the physical toolkit.

The arias included in the toolkit can also be accessed by anyone who is curious to find out more… For a musical introduction to this large-scale participatory project, visit this page to discover these three love songs!


6 December 2017│MP2018 Presentation day towards teachers │ Festival d’Aix scenery construction workshops
MP2018 and the Board of Education invite the school teachers from the Bouches-du-Rhône to a presentation day about MP2018 and the artistic toolkit. The Festival will present at that time Orfeo & Majnun project and the three love songs.

13 December 2017│Training day dedicated to Orfeo & Majnun towards Passerelles partners

14 February 2018, in the afternoon │ Launch of MP 2018 – Quel Amour !  │ Grand Théâtre de Provence
Passerelles  celebrates the MP2018’s opening by inviting the public to discover Orfeo & Majnun and by proposing several performances : a stroll of the Work Songs choir but also a concert from the Béla Quartet and from the Cadences Tunisian Quartet with orchestra pupils belonging to the conservatories from Aubagne, Pertuis and Vitrolles at the end of the day.

17-18 February 2018 weekend | MP2018 Opening | Date, place and timetable to be confirmed 
The multicultural chorus Ibn Zaydoun, led by the composer and ‘udist Moneim Adwan, will give a love songs concert created from poetries and traditional Arabic songs.

8 April 2018 │ Orfeo and Majnun urban walkabout │ Arles
In conjunction with the Carnival organised by Les Suds in Arles, school orchestras and several chorus will join the parade under the saxophonist Raphaël Imbert, the singer Marion Rampal from the Nine Spirit company and the artists from the Rassegna company, which will also echo the themes of Orfeo and Majnun.

24 June 2018 │Orfeo and Majnun urban walkabout – Aix-en-Provence

8 July 2018 │ Opera: Orfeo and Majnun – Aix-en-Provence (free)


With the support of Fondation Bettencourt Schueller, Fonds Chœur à l'ouvrage, Fondation d'entreprise Total, The Eloise Susanna Gale Foundation

Follow the creative process of Orfeo & Majnun at

Credit photo : Vincent Beaume - Festival d'Aix-en-Provence