4:00 p.m.
    , January 8, 2019, as amended at
                    4:11 p.m.
    , January 8, 2019

During her lifetime, Camille Saint-Saëns forbade her carnival of animals (1886), a simple exercise of style in her eyes, to be played in public. However, after his death in 1921, this work written in 14 movements for 26 musicians became one of his most famous. Without necessarily knowing it, we know two absolute tubes: The Swan and especially The Aquarium, whose throbbing melody has been the theme of many movies or commercials and credits at the Cannes Film Festival since 1990. Populated with kangaroos, d elephants, chickens, "dinosaurs and other treasures", dotted with pleasant musical quotes (I have good tobacco, Ah, I will tell you, mum, Offenbach), this Carnival has already inspired several booklets to Francis Blanche, François Rollin or Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. Today, it is the musician Albin de la Simone and the writer Valérie Mréjen who reinvent it at the National Theater of Brittany (TNB), directed by Arthur Nauzyciel.

Four detective musicians

Known for his refined or even tenuous arrangements, Simone had already made his masterpiece in 2010 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. It is this appropriation that today embellishes a story. "Saint-Saëns himself having renounced his score, it made me feel comfortable," he says, "after all, when Vanessa Paradis asks me to revisit her big hits of the 1980s, it's the same I love to do it, and since I do not feel able to write more than 12 songs every three years, I'm busy! "

Both trained at the Beaux-Arts and followers of "a form of sobriety in the expression", Albin de la Simone and Valérie Mréjen quickly agreed on their scenario: "We had the idea of ​​an investigation. wanted a story in the manner of an incomplete drawing that pushes the public to ask questions. " In their staggered version, the animals of Saint-Saëns become escape fugitives from their zoos, pens and aquariums. The four musicians on stage (piano, guitar, cello and voice) are detectives. Their notes provide clues that encourage the public to identify animals and, here, to elucidate the reasons for the sudden escape.


They screamed so loud that I thought I was at a Beatles concert


This grind, in the form of a thriller and a nod to Noah's ark, was unveiled in Rennes at the beginning of December in front of an audience of children of preparatory classes, all of them about six years old. Surprise, the little ones prick at the game illico. The questions brought by Jocelyne Desverchère, storyteller and investigator of this funny Carnival, they laugh and shout so loudly that the actress is not always audible … Nevertheless, the game of appearances and riddles works. And the audience regains its fascinated calm when the beautiful mezzo-soprano Lorraine Tisserant helps herself with a thunder box or a kazoo to suggest the roaring of the lion, the hen house or the fish dance …

"It may be necessary to adjust this riddle effect," says Valerie Mréjen at the end of the show, half-amused, half-exceeded by the thunderous reactions of children. "Maybe with older people it would be better?" Albin asks the Simone, a bit too amazed by the vivacity of the kids. But not disappointed either: "At two moments, they screamed so loudly that I thought I was at a Beatles concert, but their reaction brings some interesting questions, if we want the performance to be less noisy, it's up to us to think about a better way to steer it. " The candor of the kids annoys him less, in any case, than the ways of some adults: "When they say hush to children, it makes me feel comfortable, and if I take them to sing loudly on the air Aquarium, it annoys me! "

Resumption of "Ghost Movies"

The obnoxious acoustic rendition Albin de la Simone, known for its unamplified gigs and drums, so appreciable when the current pop sounds often ladle. "I've been doing this for seven years now," he says, "at least if I'm cut off electricity, the concert is not dead, but I'm often told that if I play acoustic people, nobody will hear, while I'm doing very well in 800 rooms … "

During 2019, he will enjoy his status as an artist associated with the TNB Rennes to resume his Ghost Movies, his performance of 2015 "around films that do not exist". This time, he plans to draw "a form more accomplished and better produced", as with his Carnival.