Sephardic songs revisited by Thierry Pécou



Our aim is for this project to be a truly original invitation to a voyage, somewhere between a song recital and a ritual; a voyage into an intimate memory, imbued with the past and an ancestral, traditional, learned repertoire that has highly diverse influences, drawing its sources from popular cultures.

Bulgarian, Romanian, Serbo-Croatian, Bosnian, Italian, Greek, Turkish, Arabic North African, and of course Spanish. We wish to transmit this heritage along with the pleasure of sharing, the orality and the simplicity which are part of Sephardic songs, both sacred and secular. The composition of the pieces, the complexity of the rhythms, the rich blend of the timbres and the virtuosity of the musicians reveal the timelessness of these melodies which thus become very much alive and contemporary.

This is equally an invitation to remember that this exiled people found a way to maintain its Judo-Hispanic tradition, which was then enriched through the contact with other cultures. Our approach is in a certain way an extension of this tradition of exchange.

This performance combines music and contemporary art. By associating ancient melodies with contemporary compositions, enriching contributions of artists from different disciplines create a unique and unusual moment of poetry with Sephardic song at the heart of the work.

Like a nightingale, trilling or triumphing, Gaëlle Mechaly has an extraordinary presence.

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, about Zoroastre, J.Ph. Rameau

Number of people

Guest artist

Gaëlle Méchaly soprano

Ensemble Variances

Anne Cartel flute
Carjez Gerretsen clarinet
Laurène Durantel double bass
Thierry Pécou piano
Karim Touré percussion

Stephan Grögler conception, set designing and stage direction
SMARIN Stéphanie Marin design


Commission Arsenal de Metz

Co-production Arsenal de Metz, Opéra de Reims, Ensemble Variances, operAct

With the support of: Adami, Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah, Journées européennes de la culture juive - Lorraine, Caisse d’épargne, Dodo

The Ensemble Variances receive support from Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication - Drac Normandie, Région Normandie, Spedidam, Sacem, Ville de Rouen, Odia Normandie, Onda. The Ensemble Variances is member of Fevis, Futurs Composés, Bureau Export and Profedim. It is member of Groupement d'Employeurs Solstice, supported by Région Normandie.