La Maîtrise Populaire de l'Opéra Comique


02 September 2019

Back to school in music

Monday September 2nd...

28 May 2019

Tales of passing time: the story of a unique village

From May 26th through 28th, the entire Maîtrise Populaire team came together to interpret the Tales of passing time. The story takes place in Terra Amata, a village where seasons are told through music....

16 May 2019

Day of Restitution: A Division of the Maîtrise Populaire & The Egalité des Chances Foundation

Tuesday, May 14th was the restitution day of the implementation of the Maîtrise Populaire with the Egalité des Chances Foundation. It was the opportunity for the Maîtrise Populaire to offer a demo to boarding schools of excellence from Sourdun, ...

05 April 2019

Choral singing in the spotlight

The concert Obliques was played at the Opéra Comique on the occasion of the evening dedicated to the Fondation Bettencourt-Schueller. The music program, conceived by Mathieu Romano and carried out by Xavier Veilhan, took the audience on a voyage...

03 December 2018

Thyeste revived and on tour

After its premiere last July in the courtyard of the Palais des Papes for the opening of the Festival d’Avignon, Thomas Jolly’s Thyeste (Thyestes), with the participation of the Maîtrise Populaire de l’Opéra Comique, is touring throughout France...

Chargement en cours


La Maîtrise Populaire of the Opéra Comique was launched in September 2016 as an artistic journey open to all. It is a school for everyone and anyone who is drawn to music, without necessarily knowing the grammar behind it or having benefited from a performing arts background. It is a school for those with talent and motivation, where one can learn about the true foundation of music—its capacity to bring people together and speak a universal language, which one might call harmony. Such harmony finds its roots in every sphere: ethnic, social, and cultural.

The brainchild of artistic director Sarah Koné, La Maîtrise Populaire of the Opéra Comique champions diversity among students and among the activities on offer: musical training, choir singing, vocal technique, theater, dance, as well as tap dancing. The piano, open to all, allows young people to practice and help each other make progress. This high-quality, multidisciplinary training for children and young adults aged 8 to 25 serves to promote musical theater education. This groundbreaking program is based on the Dalcroze method, which focuses on oral communication and listening to one’s body and mind.

In the spirit of accessibility and openness, the students of the La Maîtrise Populaire at the Opéra Comique have been learning song-signing since the beginning of the 2018 school year. This discipline consists of using gesture and sign language to accompany a vocal performance. The students will also benefit from master classes led by singers of the new Favart troupe.

In terms of programming, as is the case every year, some students from La Maîtrise Populaire’s program will have the opportunity to participate in productions from the 2019 season of the Opéra Comique, and all will perform on the Favart stage as part of our youth programming. Past performances include Annie and My Fair Lady.

The students in the first cycle meet at the François Couperin middle school, where the program began, while students in the second cycle follow a dual curriculum at Georges Brassens general high school or the Abbé Grégoire professional high school. To join La Maîtrise Populaire’s program, children are invited once a year to audition during the spring. And to ensure both social and geographic diversity, recruiters also visit primary schools in communes surrounding the city of Paris that are designated “Réseau d’Education Prioritaire,” or Priority Education Network (REP and REP plus).


In light of its success at fighting school dropout, La Maîtrise Populaire’s program has been asked to disseminate its methods and polyphonic vocal repertoire geared at driving social interaction, as part of the national choir program. Starting in August 2018, the pedagogical team of this program will train teachers from the Ministry of National Education throughout the school year. Following this training, the trainees will be able to establish a choir within their own school or organization by the start of the 2018/2019 school year. This training will also take place in three boarding schools (Douai, Sourdun and Coulommiers).


“In a moment of rage—the kind of anger that is typical of adolescence—a child told me, ‘I want the others to respect me, because to me, the troupe is family, and you’re supposed to be careful how you treat your family.’  
This was a few months ago. The anger has since dissipated, but those words still resonate.

To be part of La Maîtrise Populaire is to inhabit an extraordinary, multipolar world.
You meet nearly one hundred individuals with different personalities and sensibilities.
Working in La Maîtrise Populaire means inventing a way to function together on a daily basis, and to create bonds through the work that allow for the possibility of dialogue between all these personalities.
It’s about ‘making a family,’ about carefully constructing a shared identity. It’s about creating a collective dream and giving each other the means to realize it, about establishing a common frame of experience based on everyone’s various histories and shared values.
To ‘make a family’ you must organize, structure, and rewrite the present around a code of ethics that everyone recognizes and accepts. And you must understand that this is demanding. There are demands placed on your work and on you. ‘Making a family’ is also about recognizing that each person plays an important role. 
Some people say that adolescents are missing a backbone. ‘Making a family,’ to us, proves those people wrong on a daily basis. Experiences must be lived again and again, remodeled and manipulated so that transformation remains a perpetual possibility. Throughout the process, one must place an emphasis on reason rather than emotion.
Reason is not culture.
Once emotions are set aside, a true artistic experience can begin.
The experience of art cannot be collective. It is necessarily intimate.
Our work lies within this balance between the intimate and the collective.


Maîtrise Populaire de l’Opéra Comique - 32, rue François Miron 75004 Paris / +33 9 70 97 32 21

Avec le soutien de

News related

  • Recruiting


The Opéra Comique is committed to making La Maîtrise Populaire available to students hailing from diverse cultural and social environments in order to foster community and equal opportunity. La Maîtrise Populaire recruits and trains children and young adults, 8 and up, who have no prior musical or artistic training (such as vocal courses), with no regard paid to applicants’ educational level or family situation. 

The selection process during the annual auditions guarantees diversity among the recruits, who are primarily chosen for their potential and singing aptitude. Three days of auditions are scheduled throughout the month of April. Each child must perform an a cappella song in front of a jury assembled by artistic director Sarah Koné.

  • Training Built on Excellence

An intensive curriculum:In the 1st Cycle, middle school students receive 9 hours and 45 minutes of artistic education per week, scheduled around their academic requirements. The curriculum entails a considerable amount of work from the students, who throw themselves into the project as soon as they begin middle school at the Collège Couperin (75004). A public performance drawing 1,200 spectators takes place at the end of the year on the Opéra Comique stage, and students participate in other productions and concerts throughout the year.

Students in the 2nd Cycle follow this program on a part-time basis, with mornings dedicated to artistic education and afternoons following the school curriculum. La Maîtrise Populaire of the Opéra Comique benefits from partnerships with two Parisian high schools offering part-time studies tailored to student artists and high-level athletes: Georges Brassens general high school, and Abbé Grégoire professional high school. As part of the Maîtrise Populaire’s program, students take classes in vocal technique, choir singing, dance, piano, tap, theater, song-signing, and musical training.

In the 3rd Cycle, students juggle their post-secondary education and courses in La Maîtrise Populaire program of the Opéra Comique. They receive one-on-one instruction in vocal technique and piano, and group instruction in theater, choir singing, tap, dance, musical training, and song-signing.

A demanding program: The program avoids compartmentalization by offering interdisciplinary instruction composed of classes in choir singing, vocal technique, dance, and stage performance, which become more and more intensive as students move through the cycles. The program focuses on the discovery of classical music and opera (the 2017/2018 program included Poulenc, Offenbach, Dowland, Pergolesi, Barber, Britten, and others) in order to strengthen students’ musical knowledge.

The quality of the program garnered the designation of “La Maîtrise Populaire’s program” for the Sans Père Company by the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research in conjunction with the Ministry of Culture and Communication, who worked together to create an adapted academic schedule for the students in question.


  • Innovative Pedagogy

The program is designed according to the academic requirements of middle and high school students. Middle schoolers are recruited each year following an audition and interview, and are admitted to the François Couperin middle school (in the 4th arrondissement of Paris) no matter their grade level, in order to benefit from the adapted academic schedule. Thanks to a reorganized schedule, high schoolers pursue the program at the Georges Brassens general high school or the Abbé Grégoire professional high school. This continuity between the program and the school curriculum has an incredibly positive effect on the students, leading to a love of learning, attentiveness, and a sense of responsibility. The benefits of this kind of training extend far beyond school life. It positively affects one’s professional life and social interactions.


Admissions and Auditions

Applications for admission to La Maîtrise Populaire s program are closed. See you next year!

All information regarding auditions for La Maîtrise Populaire at the Opéra Comique is available here (in french)


News related

In order to fulfill the multiple aims of La Maîtrise Populaire, the pedagogical team includes specialized teachers hailing from top French institutions (Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris, CNSMD, Pôle supérieur d'enseignement artistique de Paris) and international institutions (Merce Cunningham Company, Julliard School, Conservatoire de Lausanne).



Directrice artistique, metteur en scène

Sarah Koné

Née en 1985 à Annecy, Sarah Koné se forme au chant à la Maîtrise de l'Opéra de Lyon puis au Conservatoire de Lausanne avant de rejoindre Paris en 2003 et d'intégrer le Conservatoire Supérieur. Élève des classes de chant et de direction, elle sort diplômée en 2012.
C'est avec le projet de construire une formation d'exigence dédiée aux jeunes réunissant les disciplines du chant, de la danse et du théâtre qu'elle fonde en 2008, la Compagnie Sans Père.

Chant choral et ensemble vocal

Sarah Koné  (Tous les cycles)
Clara Brenier (1er cycle)

Formation musicale

Anne-Laure Kénol (Tous les cycles)
Caroline Calvo (Tous cycles)
Lucile Mathevet (Tous cycles)

Professeur de technique vocale, chant

Dorothée Voisine (Tous les cycles) 


Clara Brenier (1er cycle)
Jean-Christophe Kotsiras (3ème cycles)
Anna Krempp (1 et 2ème cycles)


Christine Bonneton (Tous les cycles)
Sonia Duchesne (1er cycle)


Victor Cuno (1er cycle)
David Lasserre (2ème cycle)
Florence Mathoux (3ème cycle)


Jennifer Tederri (Tous les cycles)

Culture musicale

Mickaël Andrieu (3ème cycle)


Sophie-Leila Vadrot (2ème cycle, 3ème cycle)


Artistic Director, Stage Director

Sarah Koné

Born in Annecy in 1985, Sarah Koné received her vocal training in Maîtrise Populaire’s program of the Opéra de Lyon, then at the Conservatoire de Lausanne. She moved to Paris in 2003 to attend the Conservatoire Supérieur. She received her diploma in 2012, after completing courses in vocals and direction.
In 2008, she founded the Compagnie Sans Père, establishing a demanding training program for young people focused on singing, dance and theater.

Choir and Vocal Ensemble

Sarah Koné (All cycles)
Clara Brenier (1st cycle)

Musical Training

Anne-Laure Kénol (All cycles)
Caroline Calvo (All cycles)
Lucile Mathevet (All cycles)

Vocal Technique Professor

Dorothée Voisine (All cycles) 


Clara Brenier (1st cycle)
Jean-Christophe Kotsiras (3rd cycle)
Anna Krempp (1st and 2nd cycles)


Christine Bonneton (All cycles)
Sonia Duchesne (1st cycle)

Tap Dancing

Victor Cuno (1st cycle)
David Lasserre (2nd cycle)
Florence Mathoux (3rd cycle)

Chansigne (Sign Language for Music)

Jennifer Tederri (All cycles)

Musical Culture

Mickaël Andrieu (3rd cycle)


Sophie-Leila Vadrot (2nd cycle, 3rd cycle)


News related


Sharing songs

SignSong concert

from 21 January to 7 November 2021

Salle Favart


Christmas concert

La Maîtrise Populaire de l'Opéra Comique

from 16 to 18 December 2021

Salle Favart


Spectacles passés

Porte 8 Kids

What if children had their own lyrical cabaret ?

from 13 February to 3 October 2021

Salle Bizet

2021 season

Le voyage dans la lune

Jacques Offenbach

from 18 to 24 April 2021

The show is broadcast online

2021 season


Public course of the Maîtrise

from 16 to 26 January 2021

Salle Bizet

2021 season

Christmas concert

Chantons, faisons tapage : Favart fait son festival / Maîtrise Populaire of the Opéra Comique

from 17 to 19 December 2020

Salle Favart

2020 Season

Sharing songs

SignSong concert

from 21 February to 19 November 2020

Foyer Favart

2020 Season


Public course of the Maîtrise

from 9 to 11 October 2020

Salle Favart

2020 Season



Georges Bizet

from 25 September to 5 October 2020

Salle Favart

2020 Season

Petite balade aux enfers

Lyrical puppet play based on Orpheus and Eurydice by Gluck

from 17 to 20 September 2020

Salle Favart

2020 Season


Don Quichotte

(J’étoilerai le vent qui passe) // Opera for young audiences inspired by Massenet

from 22 to 26 April 2020

Salle Bizet

2020 Season

Songs to be shared

Concert in signsing (« chansigne »)

from 19 February to 22 November 2019

Salle Favart

2019 Season

Tales of passing time

Maîtrise Populaire de l'Opéra Comique

from 26 to 28 May 2019

Salle Favart

2019 Season

Gretel et Hansen


from 9 to 11 February 2019

Salle Favart

2019 Season

My Fair Lady

A production by the Maîtrise populaire de l'Opéra Comique

from 28 February to 1 March 2018

Salle Favart

2018 Season


Pictures gallery

Your comments

To respond Log in or create a new account now

Votre compte vous permettra d'accéder à des actualités enrichies, intéragir et commenter.