The Cercle des mécènes [Patrons Circle] was established at the time of the theater’s centenary with a view to welcoming businesses and private citizens eager to support artistic creation and the future of this unique venue. Among the leading show houses, few are faced with the challenge, like the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, of delivering a program of international repute as a private theater.
The Mécènes du théâtre therefore play a key role in maintaining a degree of excellence of programming as well as a diversity of sponsored artists.
Since the 2018/2019 season, Arkema decided to step up its commitment by sponsoring the “young audience programming” of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.
For over 20 years now, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (TCE) has presented operatic and musical performances in school time, and every year welcomes over 10,000 children from elementary and high schools in Paris and the surrounding area. In collaboration with teachers, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées artists and crews, a specific program is drawn up in order to prepare pupils from grade 1 to grade 6 for this discovery of opera.
Through this commitment, Arkema wants to be involved in this journey of discovery and awareness of music and the opera. These actions aim to help children better understand the world of classical music in both a fun and an educational way.
New season, new program
2021/2022 season: Un Rigoletto
For this new season of the TCE’s [Théâtre des Champs-Élysées] “programming for youth audiences”, we have given our support to the interactive opera Un Rigoletto, inspired by G. Verdi’s eponymous work.
Thanks to our renewed patronage this year, over 350 children from six schools in the town of Colombes, home to our headquarters, have been able to get acquainted with the work and attend the performance.
In addition, a video recording has been made and is freely accessible on YouTube, for the enjoyment of the widest possible audience.
Great success for the past seasons
2020/2021 season: Un Élixir d'amour
Arkema has renewed its commitment to the TCE for the 2020/2021 season and given its support to the show Un Élixir d'amour, based on the work of Gaetano Donizetti.
However, the health crisis has turned things upside down: the scheduled theater performances with school audiences have been cancelled, but the educational program has been adapted thanks to the mobilization of the artists, partners and schools involved.
A video recording was made of the show.
1,000 DVDs have been sent to three partner schools of Colombes, where is located Arkema Headquarters. An educational booklet featuring the music and lyrics accompanies the DVD, so that the children can learn them. Then, they can introduce the opera to their loved ones.
This video recording is intended to be accessible to as wide an audience as possible as it includes audio description and translation into sign language. Finally, it will be available on an educational platform, and so will benefit schoolchildren all over France.
2019/2020 Season: Les Petites Noces
For the 2019/2020 season, Arkema provided its support to Les Petites Noces, based on Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.
Building on the success of the show Une Carmen the previous season, the number of performances has been increased, with 16 dates earmarked for January and February 2020. Nearly 10,000 children were able to attend.
2018/2019 Season: Une Carmen, étoile du cirque
Whether young people visited the theater with their family or with their school, Une Carmen, étoile du cirque, in a shorter and fun version, acquainted its audience with opera by teaching them about singing and live shows.
10 performances took place in May 2019 for families and schools, as well as learning workshops before each performance.
In total, close to 12,000 children were able to attend these performances.
Every season, particular attention is drawn to audiences that are remote from culture: thanks to this patronage, the theater can invite children from the Réseau d'éducation prioritaire (REP, REP+) [high priority education network], welcome groups of autistic children from day centers and children from specialist institutions for the blind and visually impaired (IDES and INJA). Customized workshops are organized to cater especially for these children.
By becoming a sponsor of the young public participatory opera, Arkema is involved in a project that reaches out to young people, schools and families, and upholds values of sharing, exchange and creativity.
This initiative, which also aims to involve some young people from schools in so-called sensitive districts (via the Paris education authorities), is perfectly in line with the Group’s CSR approach around the issues of education and integration, and is also in perfect harmony with the values of solidarity, inclusion and empowerment held by Arkema.