News of the CAIRH

Dear friends,

We hope this message finds you all well and thriving in your aliveness in full voice, despite the slings and arrows of the past two years. As we emerge slowly from the pandemic experience we’re delighted to bring you a long overdue update on happenings at the Roy Hart Centre.

The summer season will soon be underway with a wonderful choice of workshops and performances and there’s still time to enroll here. For performances, please see the schedule below.

We’re actively searching for newsletter collaborators so if you’d like to join our editorial team for future newsletters or with any comments, proposals for articles, suggestions, updates for inclusion or anything else, please be in touch! We look forward to hearing from you!

To email us click here.

Warmly, on behalf of the Board,

What are we celebrating?
The opening of the summer season in Malérargues! Here’s the

13 July – 31 August 2022

13 July at 7pm
A reading by Ralf Peters. Admission free

15 July at 9pm
A concert by the Madlobeli Ensemble with Amélie ABEGG, Marianne LEGENDRE, Magali MEJEAN, Daredjane MELIAVA ( vocals and pandouri), Anne PIFFARD, Laurent STEPHAN (vocals and tchongouri), Boris TEULADE.

20 July at 7pm
A reading by Ralf Peters. Admission free

22 July at 9pm
An offbeat and interactive presentation with musical interludes by and with Maryline Guitton

29 and 30 July at 9pm
Concert: The Magic Flute of Mozart through the prism of Roy Hart Theatre.
Directed by Ian Magilton
Musical direction by Sašo Vollmaier and Stephen Rivers-Moore, with Emma Pannell, Anita Roksvåg, Rosa Lanati, Orly Asody, Stephan Köch, Ivan Midderigh, and instrumentalists Caroline Boersma and Justine Rivers-Moore.

3 August at 7 pm
A work in progress based on Agamemnon by Aeschylus
With Fia Adler, directed by Ian Magilton.
Admission free

5/6 August at 9pm
A concert with Annie Murath – Vocals, Pablo Lopez – Piano.
A journey of original compositions and Latin music. The Peruvian Waltz, Violeta Parra, Piazzolla.

Il FAUT MANGER by Howard Barker
12 August at 9pm
Trilingual theatre with Laurent Stéphan and Davide Maffeo.

17 August at 7pm
A musical reading with Catherine Bédarida, text, and Walli Höfinger, vocals and piano.
Admission free

19 August at 9pm
A tribute concert to the great singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell.
With Haim Isaacs.

26 August at 7pm
Poetic songs.
With Pascale Ben and Christophe Back.

All performances will take place at theRoy Hart Centre, Château de Malérargues, 30140 Thoiras

Full price 12€
Reduced rate (unemployed, rsa) 10€

Season tickets*
Access to all summer performances 50€
To reserve your seat at any performance, please confirm attendance by the Tuesday prior to the show.
For further details about season tickets, please click here.

Art’com tel. 09 67 07 03 70
On-site box office opens 30 minutes before performances.

To what are we listening?

Video: Alfred Wolfsohn :”… banishing the stench of the world”, read by Ralf Peters
In August 2021, Ralf Peters gave a reading drawing from the writings of Alfred Wolfsohn at the Roy Hart Centre in Malérargues.

“… banishing the Stench of the World” was a collection of excerpts from the manuscripts Orpheus or The Way to a Mask and The Bridge, in which Wolfsohn discusses his thoughts and experiences of World War I, antisemitism, and the Holocaust.

Throughout the reading, there were musical interludes featuring Beethoven’s Appassionata, played by early 20th century pianist Artur Schnabel and chosen in light of Alfred Wolfsohn’s reference to the piece in his writing, and the likelihood that he would have been familiar with Schnabel’s recording.

Ralf read from Marita Günther’s translation of Orpheus, revised by Sheila Braggins and edited by Jay Livernois. The translation of The Bridge was Ralf’s own revision of Marita Günther’s original in collaboration with Agnes Pollner.

The reading was warmly received and a recording can be viewed here.

Vidéo : ZAUBERflöte
More music! more musicians!

Die Zauberflöte has been woven into the research of Roy Hart Theatre ever since Alfred Wolfsohn’s first inspiration of the ‘human voice’ a hundred years ago. He insisted that everyone was capable of singing all of the archetypal roles in it, from the Queen of the Night’s, highest, to Sorastro’s lowest note of classical music, that in each of us there is a lover, a victim, hero, fool, wiseman, dictator, witch, evil slave, and more. In every emotion we have are pathways to all of the others.

Joao Charepe interviews Ian Magilton (director) and Stephan Köch (playing Knabe and Monostatos) about ZAUBERflöte, a new production based on Mozart’s Magic Flute and inspired by the Roy Hart vocal approach.

Support: Every donor of €15 or more will receive an invitation to a special avant- premiere performance (glass of wine included) on Thursday 28 July. Your donations will contribute to the travel and lodging expenses of the creators, none of whom are paid. To make a donation please contact Ian Magilton.

A recording of the interview can be viewed here.

What are we reading?
New publications

Owning Our Voices: Vocal Discovery in the Wolfsohn-Hart Tradition
By Margaret Pikes and Patrick Campbell, Routeledge, 2020.

Owning Our Voices offers a unique, first-hand account of working within the Wolfsohn-Hart tradition of extended voice work by Margaret Pikes, an acclaimed voice teacher and founder member of the Roy Hart Theatre.

This dynamic publication fuses Pikes’ personal account of her own vocal journey as a woman within this, at times, male-dominated tradition, alongside an overview of her particular pedagogical approach to voice work, and is accompanied by digital footage of Pikes at work in the studio with artist-collaborators and written descriptions of scenarios for teaching. For the first time, Margaret Pikes’ uniquely holistic approach to developing the expressive voice through sounding, speech, song and movement has been documented in text and on film, offering readers an introduction to both the philosophy and the practice of Wolfsohn-Hart voice work.

Owning Our Voices is a vital book for scholars and students of voice studies and practitioners of vocal performance: it represents a synthesis of a life’s work exploring the expressive potential of the human voice, illuminating an important lineage of vocal training, which remains influential to this day.

To watch João Charepe’s interview with Margaret about the book, click here.

Owning Our Voices is available for purchase here.

Roy Hart
Roy Hart, by Kevin Crawford and Bernadette Sweeney, Routledge, 2022

Roy Hart’s revolutionary work on the human voice through extended vocal technique and the Wolfsohn-Hart tradition has influenced several generations of practitioners. Hart’s outstanding contribution to vocal research, practice and performance stretched over 20 years until his untimely death in 1975, and his vocal training produced performers with extraordinary and highly expressive vocal ranges. He founded a theatre company, Roy Hart Theatre, that brought his ideas to realisation in groundbreaking works. His influence, through his own use of the voice for theatre and music and its embodiment in his company, was widespread, attracting the interest of directors such as Peter Brook, Jerzy Grotowski and Jean-Louis Barrault.

This book combines:

  • a detailed biography giving the social and artistic context of Hart’s work and that of the early Roy Hart Theatre
  • an exploration of Hart’s own writings on his work, combined with a review of articles by his wife Dorothy Hart and in-depth interviews
  • a stylistic analysis of his key works, including The Bacchae, and, L’Economiste and Biodrame, and their critical reception
  • pathways into some of the practical exercises devised by close collaborators of Roy Hart and practitioners of the Roy Hart Theatre Tradition

Roy Hart is available for purchase here.

What news ?

Tumultes festival
By Véronique Taconet, President of the Board of Directors

On Saturday June 4th and Sunday June 5th from 11am to midnight, Malérargues hosted the 0 edition of the festival Tumultes: Two Days Devoted to Sound – those of music (concerts), of the voice or of all the noises of the world, those of films (questioning sound in cinema), of trees (sound walks in the forest) or of birds (ornithological initiations). And there were many stories and lots of storytelling.

It was a magnificent experience of freshness and renewal, a sparkling creative adventure brimful of sharing.

Tumultes is the fruit of a meeting between the Collectif Ondes Sonore – a collective dedicated to sound creation – members of the CAIRH, and Malérargues. The wonderful energy of this collaboration has opened Malérargues to a new public, one that walked away both curious and enriched. Beautiful connections were forged between generations; between past and present; between founders, visitors, and residents. The event was a joyful invitation to dust ourselves off and enter the dance of a new era.

Welcoming Tumultes – that is to say collaborating with new people in relation to our work and our history – allowed us to revisit our space through their eyes.

We questioned our place alongside them, contributing our singularity and actively participating in the creation of two days of sound discoveries, two festive days buoyed by a vibrant, fluid, and peaceful quality of exchange.

Tumultes found its audience. More than 540 visitors from the area and elsewhere, supported by a team of more than 60 volunteers (from Ondes Sonores and members of the CAIRH), came to listen to stories, concerts, humans, birds, and machines. They took part in singing and sound creation workshops; discovered or rediscovered the place; exchanged, drank, laughed, ate, danced, and sang.

Today, we are exhausted but happy to have taken part in this event, which was both fulfilling and full of promise.
“Action changes destiny” – Roy Hart, quoted by Kaya Anderson in her lecture at the Tumultes festival. May this festival lead us to our own metamorphosis.

Testimonials from the audience:

Pascale Ben :
“I think we are all pieces of the same cake. I mean to say that this marvellous structure that was set up in the “cave à patates”, through Laurent’s initiative, can be used in the future by other people who have lived this experience, to recount – in a place that is conducive to listening and to receiving – something from the past, which will also be a ferment for the future.
I have shared fragments of the story – elements of what I have experienced and felt – but it will be different for each of the people who came here, nearly fifty years ago, and then all the others afterwards.
In the “cave à patates” we have built a shell, a cocoon to listen to the testimonies of the past, and that is already a lot. Back to our ovens to share other pieces of the cake, because I think that’s what it’s all about: we are really part of this adventure, of this knowledge, and all this is nourishing to hear, to share… and also moving: many spectators told me so and I could see it on their faces, hear it in their voices.
I am now back in Limousin, a little dizzy, but so happy with this new start, with Bastien and the others whom I thank dearly. I had the impression that it dusted us off, and it was a beautiful new stride of spirit. Here’s to life!”

David Goldsworthy :
For me the weekend was marvellous – for the festival itself and all the events of course, but also for opening the doors of Malérargues to several hundred people who knew neither the place nor the “Roy Hart” work. Many of these people left enriched by their encounter with “our work”, wanting to continue the adventure!
Moreover, the conviviality of the occasion allowed US to meet in another context and perhaps to “discover” each other in a different way!

Carol Mendelsohn :
This weekend was so vibrant and creative. There can be more follow up events like this, I hope! Ce week-end était tellement vivant et créatif. J’espère qu’il y aura d’autres événements de ce genre!

Saule Ryan :
It was a bit like being at a RHT festival from 35 years ago but with more varied interventions than then and with a more diverse audience

Kaya Anderson :
It was an extraordinary team effort, and I too thought of the RHT of the past, but with a promising vitality for our present and future

What are we working on?
News from our working groups and committees

ArcheCom: an update on the archival working group
By Kevin Crawford

In November 2021, spearheaded by Kevin Crawford, a committee dedicated to the archives of Alfred Wolfsohn, Roy Hart, and the Roy Hart Theatre was formed, under the name Arche’Com. This working group comprises members spanning several generations, languages, and countries, including Doug Mac Arthur, Ralf Peters, João Charepe, Ivan Midderigh, Noah Pikes, Siobhán McCann, Carol Mendelsohn, Paula Molinari, Saule Ryan, and Kevin himself. The broad expanse of the work includes addressing paper, audio, video, digitised archives, etc. The committee is particularly concerned with the principles of confidentiality and with the accessibility of documents and other archival material.

João and Saule are working on the online archives. Doug and Paula are developing proposals for postgraduate internships at Malérargues in connection with the archives. Possible grant applications to the DRAC are being considered, in collaboration with Juliette Flipo and Marie Fauveau and with the guidance of CAIRH administrative assistant Francis Buessler. Ralf is working on several exciting projects that will highlight certain moments in Roy Hart and Roy Hart Theatre’s story. Noah holds a substantial collection of archives, both in document and audio form and is concerned about their preservation. Ivan is preparing a project that is both a photographic book and a digital version of said book tracing the 100 year old story from Wolfshon to present day.
Clearly there is an immense amount of interest and work put in by these members. However we still have a long way to travel to safeguard, digitise and make accessible these archives, both in concrete form in Malérargues but also in a digital mode. The Issue of space is also paramount: in particular the lack of a dedicated working space for the photographic archives.

Carol is the current Guardian of the archives and we would ask that anyone wishing to make research or actively use ‘La Mémoire‘ go through her so she can ensure the smooth coordination of the various users.

To propose your services and/or join this working group please contact Kevin Crawford via email here.

To request access to La Mémoire, please contact Carol Mendelsohn via email here.

In brief: updates on life in Malérargues

  • Compost: You may now contribute chopped vegetable waste to the residents’ compost located on the first terrace by the Lasalle driveway, just beyond the clotheslines. Please remember to close up carefully afterwards to keep the wild boars out!
  • Insulation and renovation work on the lower gîtes is planned for next autumn. Stay tuned!
  • Four reel tables were recently acquired for CAIRH, as well as two for Ivan and one for the residents. They were set up and installed by volunteers during the Tumultes festival which took place on the weekend of June 3-5 in Malérargues.

What word from our members?
Our version of French writer Marcel Proust’s famous questionnaire

… where we invite one and all to submit their stories and experiences of Malérargues and their journey to voice. Everyone has a story… What’s yours?

This newsletter features responses from Monika Ehret, longtime student of voice and regular volunteer on Ian Magilton’s “Springterns” team.

1. What I want you to know about me is…
I am not a professional singer 😉

2. How I discovered the RH work…
A mutual artist friend, Elke, from the Black Forest introduced me to Esther Knappe in 1998. I told Esther that I wanted to learn to sing but had the feeling I was incapable, and she suggested I attend a workshop in Malérargues. That year Pascale (Ben) and Coco (Samuels) offered a Human Voice for Beginners workshop. That was the first time I went to Malérargues.

3. My special teacher is/was…
Coco Samuels. My first individual lesson with the piano was with Coco. It was in one of the small studios, with a group of six people. It was the first time in my life that I ever had a voice lesson and it felt too hard. I stood there and nothing came out. He tried everything to have me sing a note, any note but I just couldn’t do it.

4. Somebody I’d like to work with is…
Laurent (Stéphan). It is about his physical presence. I would like to experience that in a singing lesson, because there was an occasion where we did some gardening together, removing weeds from a space near the pool. It was hard work and there were several people involved operating three spades and other special tools, all at the same time, in the same spot, weeding a huge area. There was a moment with body contact at a point where we struggled to get the heavy work done. But it was a perfect moment. It felt more like dancing or like something that happens when you are really present and somebody helps you: when the flow is perfect you fly high – somebody is lifting you up and you fly higher… We were flying over the tools but it was complete flow, nobody was hurt: supported and supportive – that kind of flow. Like if you have to climb a mountain or get on a horse too tall to do it alone.

5. One of my favourite exercises is…
Rocking on the floor. Every physical warm up. Polyphonic singing songs.

6. The one I can’t stand is…
… singing in front of a mirror. Edda (Heeg) had me do it. I still haven’t figured it out yet, although I’ve tried. It was very disturbing. I find it hard because when I sing or make sounds I am so occupied with listening and feeling that watching myself just overwhelms my capacity of senses. It’s as if when I look I can’t make sound. When there are too many people in the room I prefer to close my eyes while making sound. Maybe that is a kind of training too: to sing and look at the same time.

7. A moment I’ll never forget is…
When I was standing by the piano in that first lesson with Coco. He looked at me very seriously and said “If you seriously can’t sing you must have a problem with your ears.” It all happened so fast. He said “ You must go see a doctor right now! I’ll take you.” There were five people sitting there waiting for their turn. As I knew a trip to the doctor with Coco would take the next four hours, I felt like a really, really bad little girl and to abandon the others without a teacher and their turn to sing. So I opened my mouth and suddenly the sounds came out. I started to sing. It was loud and it got louder and louder. I was facing Coco and I couldn’t see the others. I thought they must be helping me with the notes because the sound was so loud, but when I finally turned and had a chance to look at them all their mouths were closed and I realised that the huge sound was coming from me! It was dizzying but so cool. It was all my sound! In the days that followed, I heard stuff I had never, ever heard before: a door banging five houses away… I even had the feeling I could hear the grass growing. It was all about the ears. Coco was right.

8. An artist who inspires me is…
A Teacher. I’m not the kind of person who is inspired by artists. I am inspired by teachers: any good teacher, not just Roy Hart teachers. A good teacher can help me do better, open up. All my life has been like this. It’s my thing.

9. I close my eyes and think of Malérargues and I see… I hear… I feel… I know…

Summer, warm sun, strange noises. Good food. And working as a Springtern in the garden at any time in the year. Laundry with a mountain view.

10. I’d like to have dinner there with…
Good question! Coco but he is not there anymore. Yes, Coco. And we’d have whisky sours with Ivan (Midderigh) first.

11. On the menu…
Something cooked by Jay (Livernois). He once cooked a very nice dish with duck. Or chicory, warm with cheese, cooked in the oven. That was great! Maybe his banana fritters…

12. What I would like to be remembered for is…
Being a Springtern. There’s a lot to say about this. When I came to Malérargues the first time it was a huge complex of buildings and people and places, some I was allowed to go to and some of course I wasn’t, like the chateau and private spaces. Over the years I had more and more access to these places: first for a proper cup of tea with Coco in his apartment, which was so exciting. Then, once I was cooking with Anita (Roksvåg) and we went down to the pool and swam together. Years later I got to see some of the resting places and I walked down a new road and it was all thrilling. There was something new every time I came. Then when I worked there as a Springtern, I was allowed to be everywhere and the place became smaller and smaller. Now Malérargues for me is a tiny place because I’ve even been through the catacombs where the water flows. Last year when I was there as a Springtern I left some of my basket art in the courtyard, in the kitchen, and in Salamander. I left MY art there. Being a Springtern allowed me to do this. Anita gave me access to Venice, where there is a bathtub. I saw the walls were old and cracked and since I know the garage too because I cleaned it up myself and I know where everything is, I took what I needed there and fixed the wall without asking, in a room I’d never had access to before. I even asked Ian (Magilton) if I could paint something there – so I made more art – and Ian trusted me to do it. I took my bath there every day and there was a lovely green and white curtain so I painted squares in green, blue, and yellow. It wasn’t much but it was absolutely much for me. This is what I wish to be remembered for: being a Springtern, leaving my mark on the place and it being ok.

13. What makes me sing is…

14. My voice…
Is stronger than I expected.

15. Quote of the day:
“If you want to survive, inhale again!” – Ulrik Barfod
Inhale, exhale. We were doing body work on the floor lying on our backs with our eyes closed, breathing. Ulrik was guiding us: “Inhale, exhale…” And he said “… and now exhale…” and then there was a long pause and he seemed to forget all about us until somebody gasped and Ulrik came back to life suddenly and said “Inhale! If you want to survive, inhale again!”

16. Who I’d like to answer these questions next…
Stephan Köch

To participate, please send us your own answers by completing the questionnaire.
We will of course be in touch before publishing anything, to chat with you about your story and in order to ensure that whatever goes to print has your approval.



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!

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