NEWSLETTER SPRING 2023
News of the CAIRH
We hope you are in good spirits and we wish a happy spring to those of you in the northern hemisphere!
The program of workshops until the coming autumn is online. As you will see, our workshop fees have not increased for many years. We are a non-profit association, committed to sharing this beautiful vocal practice as a service to the soul and to humanity! Despite inflation and the energy crisis, we are maintaining our current fees.
We hope that this will enable you to come to Malérargues in 2023 to sing, dance, shout, and share… and we look forward to hearing from you soon… in full voice!
The Board of Directors of the Centre Artistique International Roy Hart
2023 workshop programme
Our 2023 workshop programme is online and we’re delighted that your’re already signing up for the many different offerings. We welcome the return of our international students and teachers this year, now that the pandemic travel restrictions have been lifted. Should you have any questions or concerns about workshops, whether in terms of fit in relation to your experience and expectations, language(s) of instruction, or more practical questions about accommodation and facilities please see here or contact Béatrice David, our administrative manager and guardian angel to newcomers and oldies alike: firstname.lastname@example.org
The CAIRH is an “Association d’Intérêt Général”: donations and tax deduction
The Roy Hart Centre is very pleased to announce that we have been granted the status of “Association d’Intérêt Général” by the French tax authorities, in light of our cultural activities. This recognition is heart-warming because it honours a vocal practice that we share passionately, as well as the men and women who have been developing it with fervour for over a century.
This recognition also has a concrete fiscal significance. When you make a donation to the CAIRH, you will now be issued a tax receipt qualifiying you for a tax deduction of 66% within the limit of 20% of your annual income (if this threshold is exceeded, the deduction is automatically carried over to the following years). So, for example, a 100€ donation, after deductions, will only cost you 34€ out of pocket.
Your support is always greatly appreciated. Our economic situation remains delicate, as we emerge from the pandemic, and our recovery is only made more difficult by the current energy crisis, compounded by inflation.
Donations for our cultural activities can be made via the Hello Asso platform. Please specify if you require a tax receipt.
Sould you have any questions, please contact the Treasurer of the Board of the CAIRH email@example.com
Partnership between the Roy Hart Centre and the Malérargues Endowment Fund
We are pleased to announce the establishment of a privileged partnership with the Malérargues Endowment Fund.
What is an Endowment Fund? It is a legal entity whose purpose is to raise funds to help another non-profit organization to accomplish its work or mission “of general interest.” This legal structure was adopted in recent years in France, the first official text dated 2008.
For context, the ownership of Malérargues is currently organised under the structure of a real estate holding company (in French an “SCI”) with 33 shareholders, as it was when first acquired by the Roy Hart Theatre nearly 50 years ago. The Centre Artistique International Roy Hart association leases its premises from the SCI, that is to say the studios, accommodations, the office, and the archives room (La Mémoire).
The Malérargues Endowment Fund was created in 2021 to ensure the perrenity of the château and grounds and the transmission of the cultural and artistic heritage of Alfred Wolfsohn, Roy Hart and the Roy Hart Theatre. To guarantee this continuity, its aim is to acquire all the remaining shares of the SCI, thereby assuming full ownership of the estate in trust.
The members of the Board of the Endowment Fund are currently: Marianne Le Tron, newly elected President, replacing Founding President Lucienne Deschamps, as well as Margaret Pikes, Secretary, and Angelo de Bernardo, Treasurer.
The privileged partnership between the Fonds de Dotation Malérargues and the Roy Hart Center is one of symbiosis whereby the Fonds de Dotation Malérargues will channel funds to support our projects, as well as those of other associations related to the Wolfsohn-Hart work.
The website of the Fonds de Dotation Malérargues is currently under construction and we will keep you informed of its launch. For further information please contact the Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
What are we working on?
The return of the TUMULTES festival, May 26-28
Following last year’s huge success, we’re delighted to announce that the Roy Hart Centre will be hosting the second annual Tumultes Festival in collaboration with the Collectif Ondes Sonores. As was the case last year, it will take place on Whitsun weekend, May 26, 27 and 28 with two days and three nights of listening, performances and festivities that will commence at 8pm on the Friday evening and end at midnight on Sunday at the festival venue and at dawn for those who wish to continue dancing at the Hangar, located nearby. Stay in touch via our social media pages for announcements about this year’s program, new artists, partners and other surprises!
To what are we listening?
Sašo Vollmaier : Feng Cha
Composer, performer, and freshly minted Roy Hart Centre voice teacher Sašo Vollmaier moves between homes in Ljubljana, Slovenia and Malérargues, France, as well as teaching and performance engagements in Germany, Italy, Brazil, Switzerland, and all over the world. Beloved for his extraordinary musical response to voices expressed, Sašo works with the powers of presence, fragility, expression, authenticity, and curiosity to invent new musical languages. This is his new single, Feng Cha. On heavy rotation right now.
Lucienne Deschamps performs the songs of Anne Sylvestre
Hats off to the inimitable Lucienne Deschamps who was one of the three who found Malérargues in ruins that auspicious day and who saw with her laser insight the extraordinary place it would one day become. One of the “first 49” and, almost 50 years later, the Founding President of the Malerargues Endowment Fund, she continues to teach and perform and works tirelessly with Ukrainian refugees in Poland to build community and bring joy to Ukraine’s displaced people. We share with you a recording of her concert on March 8 in Paris, in celebration of International Women’s Rights Day.
Lucienne in l’Économiste 2 (photo: Ivan Midderigh)
Did you know that the Roy Hart Theatre recording Preverbal was available for your listening pleasure on iTunes?
“… and Man had a Voice”
Also available for purchase: Roy Hart’s “… and Man had a Voice” de Roy Hart.
What are we reading?
The Return to Malérargues of the Four Week Intenstive Workshop: an interview with the teachers
I believe we all have, once in our life, such a central experience, which touches us in the deepest roots of our being, an experience where heart, soul and mind are so equally engaged, that it can radiate over our whole life.
– Marita Gunther, describing her first voice lesson with Alfred Wolfsohn
Shut up and listen!
Open and listen.
These are the number one rules for teaching evoked by Roy Hart Centre voice teachers Ethie Friend, Walli Höfinger, Christiane Hommelsheim, and Laurent Stéphan. In September 2023 this new constellation of seasoned teachers – each with their own focus and wealth of experience – will re-launch the “4 week intensive workshop”. This long-format workshop was for several decades a stepping stone for artists and performers to a lifelong journey to voice, and even for some to discover a vocation as a Roy Hart Centre teacher. Open to all, with priority given to those who have some familiarity with the Roy Hart voice work, the fully immersive workshop will run from September 29 to October 21, in Malérargues.
Walli: The format is inspired by Carol Mendelssohn and Saule Ryan, who ran a similar program together with David Goldsworthy for about 25 years. I myself took that program three times in a row, about twenty years ago and it literally changed my life. After seventeen years of teaching voice I feel ready now to facilitate that kind of space for others.
Laurent: What attracts me to this format is, above all, the possibility for the participants to go deeper into the process, to take the necessary time to achieve certain milestones and overcome some of their own limitations.
On a vocal level, I truly believe that there are what I would call “plateau effects”: at certain points you progress quickly, and then there is a phase during which the body and/or psyche need time to digest, to integrate what you have learned. During this time, it seems that we do not progress as fast or even that we stagnate. The body understands and integrates in depth; it can no longer advance. Then, almost without knowing why, we catch ourselves once again breaking new ground and we go further. Cognisant of this process, we are not proposing to work every day for four weeks, but rather we have planned breaks of two consecutive days (at the end of each five-day working period) to allow for the integration of what has been experienced during the week.
Christiane: A six-day workshop is an amazing experience and inspiration, and then you are on your own again. Over four weeks participants have the chance to revisit things from week to week, let things mature, work on them, make choices, take risks, and change their minds again in the context of a group that stays the same over a whole month and supports each other’s process.
Ethie: For many, it is a risk to leave one’s daily life for an entire month. There are qualities of the unknown that can be both inspiring and terrifying: we use the body as the source of everything – the source of the voice, the source of images, inspiration and creativity, the source that guides us through emotional and psychic blocks into states that are more expansive and free. Because we live in a world that focuses us into our thinking mind constantly, listening to the “voice of the body” can be a slow encounter. It takes some time. The container of the group, the four teachers, and the powerful & beautiful nature that surrounds Malérargues offer incredible potential for surprising growth and transformation.
Laurent: When you work over several weeks, you have time to dive in, to follow a thread, and even to experience and emerge from crises. As a group, it is clear that the adventure to be lived together is deeper because we have much more time to spend together. Each person sees the others in different phases and from different perspectives. Deep friendships can be formed, simply by being around each other longer and getting to know each other better.
So who is this workshop for?
Christiane: People from all walks of life who are on a path of exploration with their voices, to uncover whatever time for themselves and their voices reveals to them. It is for people who are open to experimenting and collaborating with others. Curiosity for perceptive practice and prior vocal and physical training are prerequisites. Participants can bring material that fascinates or inspires them.
Walli: It is for those who have been wishing for a long time to have the depth of space and the strength of support to go deeper into their own creative possibilities. The program is designed for performing artists and vocally experienced individuals who would like to take their quest with the voice further.
Laurent: It’s for people of all different backgrounds. Why not professionals of the performing arts, but also – and above all – those professionals of the quest and of life in its different forms: seekers thirsting for truth, people who share a common desire to discover who they are through a multidisciplinary exploration in which the intensive practice of movement, of the voice, of writing, and of exposing oneself to the gaze of the other will all have a great part to play.
What might participants hope to take away from this workshop?
Walli: Ideally participants will walk away with trust in their voice as a guide and support for their life and with new experiences, insights, and perspectives on their own voice. They will have a stronger sense of their voice and will be able to apply the changes in their own vocal practice.
Laurent: I can share an anecdote. As a singer, I have always noticed a very clear break in my voice between the chest voice and the head voice and this is why yodelling comes easily to me. The aesthetics of classical singing are about not making the change between these two voices audible, but despite repeated attempts over many years only managed this once and it was at the end of a three-week intensive workshop in 2008. A new possibility opened up in my voice during the very last days of the workshop, thanks to the multiplicity of the teachers’ approaches and the intensity of the work done over the long period. The workshop was perhaps not quite long enough for me because I was never again capable of reproducing these sounds. However, I don’t despair of finding a way to discover this coveted, and still elusive vocal territory. I know that the possibility exists, since I did once have the chance to wander there, even if it was only for a few days…
Why four teachers, and why this particular constellation?
Christiane: Diversity. It takes friendship, expertise, and a special combination of human skills to hold a group for four weeks.
Laurent: We offer different approaches, some more focused on physicality and animality, others more reflective and introspective; a feminine and masculine presence, even without gender parity amongst the teachers or the students.
Walli: All four of us are well experienced senior voice teachers in the Wolfsohn-Hart tradition as well as performing artists. Our team is multicultural: we are Austrian, German, French, and American. Ethie brings embodied singing, text and theatre work. Christiane teaches singing voice and perceptive practice, working with inspirational philosophical concepts and questions. She is also a certified fascia therapist after Danis Bois. Laurent focuses on bodywork and polyphonic Georgian singing and he is also a certified massage therapist. I work with body awareness: moving body and voice, the listening body and voice towards music, original writing, and text work.
Ethie: Both Christiane and Walli were instrumental in my own development as we were students together during several years of my early work. The bond created through witnessing our breakdowns and breakthroughs in such courageous ways, has led to the deep sense of trust between us. I have also worked with Laurent and I deeply respect his devotion to both the voice work and to music and performance.
What is important about this workshop?
Christiane: Having done it three times as a student it was the biggest building block of my own training. Living in a group together for a month, sharing life and artistic and personal processes adds a specific colour to the work that we would like to offer to others. Many workshop participants have voiced a desire for a longer program. Since the work has a big component that is experience-based, the longer you immerse yourself in it, the better. The “being away from home“ factor is unique and powerful.
Walli: There are very few long-format voice programs so this one program fills that gap to provide a longer study period.
Ethie: The training in this workshop is building from a very physical starting point into singing and creation. (Students will learn) to listen and to trust the body’s own intelligence, so the voice can find its way(s), to listen with the whole body, to understand the voice as a perceptive organ and also as a means to tune in and be in communication with others. One goal would be to bring something very personal and vibrating into a given form like a text or a song or to compose material from there.
Laurent: For me, it isn’t something radically new but rather the return of something that existed in Malérargues in the past and then disappeared for a few years. We are taking a gamble by proposing such a long workshop again, at a time when it is said that people are no longer as committed as before, that they enrol for workshops at the last minute and flit around more. We want to believe that there are still people willing to try this kind of experience.
What else? What question would you like me to ask?
Christiane: How about: “If you knew that anything were possible in your voice, what would be a step you would take today?“ And I would say… “Good question! … I’d probably make a sound and listen to it as if it was the moon.”
The voice contains something of mystery and the sacred.
There are things that happen that we cannot explain.
– Laurent Stéphan
The 4 Week Intensive workshop will run over 120 hours from 26-09-23 to 21-10-23, Monday through Friday each week. Each day will include physical preparation and individual singing lessons in small groups which rotate weekly to allow intensive work with all 4 teachers. In the afternoon, the focus will be on group work to fine-tune and inspire listening and vocal interaction in ways that are only possible in a group setting, with Friday afternoons dedicated to sharing presentations of individual or collective presentations of artistic works in progress.
The fee for the workshop is 1990 € and participants can enrol here.
A letter of motivation to email@example.com is required.
Interviews et video : firstname.lastname@example.org
With great sadness…
We’re very saddened to announce the passing of Nikolaia Regolin Lüdtke, known as Niko. She spent several months at Malérargues and worked a lot with the Roy Hart Center teachers in Germany. She had a beautiful warm voice, always turned her face to the sunny side of life and gave much of her considerable energy and enthusiasm to Malérargues. Niko initiated what is called the “Tuesday group“, a weekly group class by and for residents and friends of Malérargues, that continues to this day.
Before she died Niko wrote a letter to all her friends where she explicitly expressed how she loved her memories of Malérargues, the deep and truthful encounters she had in the work, with others and with herself, and how communal singing touched her.
She wrote: “Danke an alle, an all die vielen tiefen Begegnungen und die Zeit in Malérargues” / “Thanks to everyone, thanks to all the many deep encounters and the time spent in Malérargues.“
If you knew Niko and would like to speak about her or communicate your condolences to her family, please contact Christiane at email@example.com
Nikolaia Regolin Lüdtke (d. 2023)
News from Malérargues
– In cooperation with our landlord (SCI Malerargues), we have insulated the gîtes to ensure an even warmer welcome when you next visit us.
– A big thank you to Edda Heeg and BeautyCom for their work to improve the lower gites, installing flower pots and giving the walls a fresh coat of paint. Without the generosity of our volunteers it would indeed be a less joyful place!
– Apartments for rent in Malérargues: The Gérants are sad to announce that Viviane and Micha have found a new home closer to the Steiner school for Zoé and Ayla and that they will move at the beginning of June. Malérargues will miss all of them immensely.
But sad though it is, the liberation of their apartment, added to that of Marie Paule and Jay, offers space for imagination about residence at Malérargues, a chance to think anew about who lives in Malérargues and how. It would be easy to fill these apartments (as well as those of “Micocoulier” and “Kevin Up”) with tenants from the locality, but the policy of the SCI is that residents of Malérargues should have an engagement with it and with Singing – someone like you: friends, who come often to Malérargues to create and teach and simply be; who be might be interested in the possibilities of renting, or a “co-location”, whereby several persons share a lease.
If you are interested in this ‘re-imagining’ and/or in having a living space at Malérargues, please let us, the gérants know via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Should you wish to make a monetary donation to the Roy Hart Centre, you can do so via PayPal or “HelloAsso”, a French payment site which guarantees that your data will not be commercialized.
Click on this link.
Many thanks in advance for your support!