At the Paris Opera, it is customary to say that the curtain rises each evening, it is necessary to bring together the talents of 100 crafts. Thanks to an academy established in 2015 to pass some of these arts are threatened, the Brazilian Tulio Morais, 28 years old, is on the verge of realizing his dream: to learn how to make a tutu. Each year, forty young are formed, inter alia, the manufacture of costumes, wigs, to the tapestry, but also in singing and music, within the institution, which will celebrate in 2019 its 350 years.

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If other operas have workshops lyrical or couture, the Paris Opera house – the largest in Europe with his scenes of Bastille and Garnier – “is the only one in the world who form as many trades,” says Myriam Mazouzi, director of the Academy. The idea is to transmit a know-how potentially threatened to professionals already seasoned. “In some sectors, there were real difficulties in recruitment,” says the director.

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In the “fuzzy”, the workshop of costumes for women at the palais Garnier, Anne-Marie Legrand, costume designer and tutor of Tulio, promises from the Brazilian that he will soon be her first tutu for swan Lake in January. She teaches him the development of a costume, the pattern template at the fittings, through the implementation volume.

“I’ve become the artist that I wanted to be in the last eight years”

Jeanne Ireland, a student at the Academy of the Opera of Paris

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nearby, dozens of white tutus are suspended in an historic room called the “central”. “There’s not a lot of people around the world who know how to” create this famous tulle skirt emblematic of the ballet, born at the Paris Opera in the Nineteenth century. “There’s no school,” according to Anne-Marie Legrand. According to the director of the Academy, Christian Lacroix declared that the Opera house was the only place in the world that knew how to work the tulle.

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Anne-Marie Legrand recalls that at his entrance to the Opera house 36 years ago, the tutu was a know-how jealously guarded, passed down from a seamstress in seamstress”. A transmission that can replace a “tutorial” on YouTube, ” she says. “You need someone to guide you” to pass the son of shirring that constrict the tutu or items of luggage that govern the layers of tulle. “I’ve always wanted to make clothes timeless,” says Tulio, who discovers new techniques of stapling and finishing. The collections of the ready-to-wear, “it lasts six months. A costume on stage, it’s for life”.

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In another workshop, we teach another art that is very technical, the wig. This is where Camille Laurent, a local single mother of 20 years old, learns to distinguish between the hairstyles of 1830 and 1850. “When I tell people that I am perruquière, they say to me: you’re what?!”, guffaws-t-it. His tutor Clothilde Loosveldt teaches him to implant to a hair with a hook, the styling, the styling of a wig hammer” or “salsify”, dating back to Louis XIV. Making a wig can take up to ten days. “If the volume is not good, if the bun is not at the right height, you can move quickly from one era to another”, said the perruquière who has worked for 20 years at the Opera.

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To Bastille, the violinist Marin Lamacque, 24 years old and hails from the paris region, repeats a partition difficult in the opera Simon Boccanegra of Verdi, to the poster. Guardian Thibault Old told him sometimes to play longer or more pronounced. In addition to working on a production “live”, “we pass codes, patterns” specific to the Paris Opera house, ” he says. “Here, we play Tosca , and Carmen like that”. “Very often the teachers of our teachers have worked with the composers,” according to the guardian. Example: the Dialogues of the Carmelites created at the Opera by Poulenc in 1956.

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academicians, selected on CV for arts and crafts and on to audition for the singers and musicians, are in residence from one to three years, with a contract of professionalization. The annual budget of the Academy (€3.4 million) is funded in large part by the sponsorship and, in particular, the Bettencourt-Schueller Foundation.

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The young promotion 2018 come from around the world. For the american mezzo-soprano Jeanne Ireland, the experience has exceeded her expectations. In two years, “I became the artist I wanted to be in the last eight years,” says the singer of 29 years, majored in opera. Jane has already had the chance to sing in a production of the house, “a priceless experience”. She gets close to his idols who come to sing at the Paris Opera. “When I see them during rehearsals, I have to pinch myself to believe it.”