chamber opera in 12 tableaux for animated objets and electronic keyboards

music Marc Monnet, directed by Arno Fabre
musical theater, contemporary opera, contemporary music - for 3 pianists, 3 manipulators and 1 videographer
60 minutes - tout public - width 12 m, depth 10 m, height 6 m - audience 400 people.

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BIBILOLO, it's as if we had overturned the toy boxes in the middle of the stage, hung Aunt Germaine's chandelier between the Grandfather clock and the piano, lit candles in the decorated cave and dismantled the boat to invite the storm ... An acidic, poetic and dreamlike show, resolutely atypical, halfway between contemporary opera, mechanic performance and theater of objects.

Despite the subtitle, this is not really an opera, there is no libretto, no story, no singers. It is not a ballet either, there are no dancers, despite a millimetric choreography of manipulator-machinists performed in music. It’s not a concert, yet there are three virtuoso pianists playing contemporary music. This is not circus, although the musical compositions are named after clowns and it looks like a show "by numbers". It's not really a puppet show, although there is at least one, maybe two, and lots of threads. It's not a kid's room, but it might look like it. It’s not a dream, but it’s the closest thing to it.

So, if we had to classify it, we could say that Bibilolo is a decidedly atypical show, halfway between contemporary opera, machinic performance and object theater. We would also say that it is a dreamlike poem, a chamber opera in twelve tableaux, for manipulated objects and electronic keyboards ...

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photo : © Alice Blangero

Bibilolo is a set of sounds imagined by Marc Monnet who, far from any dogmatism or academism, chooses for his first fully electronic piece to work with machines that are no longer in fashion. Obviously, he handles them with a learned flippancy, full of disrespect and humor. His music is a game, a babbling where freedom and pleasure dominate. In the manner of a Bosch painting, it is populated, dense and teeming, cries of birds alongside laser shots, pygmy songs respond to the ringing of a Grandfather clock, while a storm at sea s' cut down on an Irish ritornello.

Without being mistaken, I can say that Marc loves clowns, automatons and freedom. In any case, when he offered me to work on the staging of his Bibilolo, that's what we talked about. I remember especially that he said to me " You do as you want, you can cut in the music, you can hide the musicians, but first of all, make yourself happy ! " This is what I did, I invited Latifa the puppeteer, Pioui the graphic designer and pruner and Frédéric the Martian videographer to play with me at the artistic accumulation to invent the improbable show: a chamber opera, without actors or singers. A ballet for plastic animals, miniature cameras, exterminating robots, pulleys, ropes, mainsail and cast shadows ... "

The show is like a child's room, the stage is a space-world that lends itself to the game of explorations and transformations, the place of dreams, of fantastic and of terrifying. The place where the dolls are made up as much as they are pulled apart, where the umbrella mechanisms become Birds of Heaven, where the shadows dance ... There is no narration or an action, but rather an action of actions. As in a dream (or in the succession of numbers in a classic circus show), scenes are linked and transformed without apparent logic, the progression seems to be made by rebounds and breaks. But from the succession of these tableaux, a more intimate, deeper and dreamlike feeling appear, a new vision that takes on meaning and tells an indescribable story.

The main actors are toys, machinery, projections, automatons. Everything is manipulated on sight by a team of artist-manipulators who are puppeteers, machinists, cameramen, lighting technicians, chemists ... depending on the needs. They perform their tasks in the service of object-actors. Without any desire for theatricalization, their work shows itself in its functional necessity. The show is there too. We are as if facing the complex cogs of an industrial machine, where there is something fascinating both in the object produced and in the improbable choreography of these mechanisms.

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We invite you to a fun and demystified experience of contemporary music. Of course, it is about childhood, but in what it has of marvelously free to invent chimeric, of frightening to be cruel and of extremely serious in the work of playing. It is resolutely in Hieronymus Bosch, Boltanski (Shadow Theater) and Calder (Le Cirque) that I thought of when imagining this show : the grotesque, the burlesque, the mysterious and the reversal of the world. Because, by following the dramaturgy of the dream, it is indeed the metamorphosis that is the main action of the show.

“This piece, I made it with great freedom, I really wanted to have fun, that is to say not to forbid myself, including when I imitate a rock group from the 60s or traditional Indian music. "

Marc Monnet speaking about Bibilolo to Arno Fabre.

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Marc Monnet
Arno Fabre

artistic accumulation, construction and manipulation
Latifa Le Forestier, Eric Dubert (Pioui), Arno Fabre

musician (keyboards)
Lætitia Grisi, Julien Martineau, Stephanos Thomopoulos

light and video live
Frédéric Blin

light creation
Frédéric Blin, Arno Fabre

video research
Frédéric Blin, Joris Guibert

sound computer
Thierry Coduys, Sylvain Nouguier

Florence Garrabé

production and coordination
Laurence Larrouy, Muriel Dutrait

Production and distribution

Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo
GRAME Centre national de création musicale - Lyon
Greek National Opera
Cerise Music

With the support of
La Région Occitanie
DRAC Occitanie
CNC - Dicréam
ADAMI - La Copie Privée
Occitanie en Scène

Théâtre Le Hangar
Le Moulin de Roques
La Nouvelle Digue
Gare aux Artistes
Mairie de Mazères sur Salat

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photo : © Alice Blangero

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