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"Learn to sing, oh my soul!" - Alfred Wolfsohn

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The Centre Artistique International Roy Hart needs your support to ensure that the collections, repertoire and archives of Alfred Wolfsohn , Roy Hart and the Roy Hart Theatre are preserved, digitized for posterity, and made accessible to the general public.

In July of 1974, after many months of challenges, seven pioneers with big visions and brave voices arrived in Malérargues, in the Cévennes hills of southern France to begin a new chapter in the story of the Roy Hart Theatre.

To mark the 50th anniversary of this pivotal moment in history, the Centre Artistique International Roy Hart is launching a fundraising campaign and appealing to the generosity of friends, students, collaborators, supporters of theatre and the arts, cultural historians, practitioners of voice work, and believers worldwide in the extraordinary power of the human voice.

Our story begins with Alfred Wolfsohn, a German Jew and veteran of World War I, who emerged from the trenches a broken man, and, unresponsive to conventional treatments, sought to journey back to a sense of self and aliveness through singing. As an act of resilience he developed the body of work he called “Human Voice” - to liberate the voice as expression of the human soul through a vast range of notes and textures, which would surpass the usual constructs of the male or female range, and freely convey all human emotions.




"Lerne singen, O seele - learn to sing, oh my soul!" - Alfred Wolfsohn

Wolfsohn fled Nazi Germany and settled in London where Roy Hart met him in 1947. The young South African actor abandoned a promising career in commercial theatre to study with Wolfsohn. Following Wolfsohn’s death in 1962, Roy Hart continued this research. By the late 1960s he was producing avant-garde plays in London with with the company that bore his name: Roy Hart Theatre.



Between 1974 and 1975, forty-nine members of the Roy Hart Theatre moved from London to the crumbling Château de Malérargues. Despite precarious living conditions, they rebuilt and restored the estate whilst also creating the production L’Économiste.


In May 1975, during a tour of this performance, Roy Hart, Dorothy Hart, and Vivienne Young died tragically in a terrible car accident. Their deaths were an immense human and artistic loss, with heavy financial repercussions. The artists of the Roy Hart Theatre considered giving up and returning to London.

They decided to resist...

Malérargues was once a hamlet in ruins. It has now, 50 years later, become a focus of local, national, and international constellations, dedicated to research, teaching, and the creation of live performance. Students, researchers, and artists from all over the world are welcomed there to discover a distinctive approach to the human voice without boundaries.

Malérargues is a place of residence and a sheltered work environment for vocal exploration in pursuit of a deeper understanding of life and art.

In 1992, the Roy Hart Theatre became the Centre Artistique International Roy Hart.






The Centre Artistique International Roy Hart is raising funds to preserve the considerable material archives and digitize these for online accessibility by all.


This is a turning point in curating the historical legacy of the Roy Hart Theatre and the centre, as well as for its accessibility to the world and its transmission for generations to come. It will enable us to employ technology and the vast reach of the internet to make this priceless heritage more accessible internationally. The public - students, researchers, teachers, vocal artists and practitioners, theatre goers and lovers of a great story - will be able to access a wide range of material; written, audio, photo, and video.

There will also be an online version of Roy Hart Theatre founding member Ivan Midderigh's forthcoming book tracing the visual history from Alfred Wolfsohn’s visionary approach to the voice, to Roy Hart and the Roy Hart Theatre’s expansion of that intuition to its present day embodiment in the centre: a hundred years of photos, programmes, and posters, underscored with an audio narrative.

The history that these archives represent is our legacy and we ask for your support to reach our goal of putting this legacy online and accessible to the public by 2025. This project is shepherded by a Committee from the CAIRH called ARCHEcom. Arche as in ‘ark’, for preservation, and Arche for ‘arc’ or ‘bridge’, for connecting.

The archives will serve to preserve our legacy and connect the generations.

Please consider making a donation to our appeal. Your generosity will help us to ensure the preservation and accessibility to the public of the material legacies of Alfred Wolfsohn, Roy Hart, the Roy Hart Theatre, and the Centre Artistique International Roy Hart. Thank you.



How long will the project take?
We estimate this enormous work will take roughly 18 months to fully complete although the bulk of the project should be finished by the end of 2024. The first phase of digitization and indexation is already underway.

How will the funds raised be used?

1. Technology and tools to digitize all paper, audio and visual archives to create a coherent and comprehensive database that will be accessible both online and on-site in Malérargues to students and researchers. These include:
  • a digital negative scanner;
  • a document scanner; the repair of reel-to-reel tape recorder and conversion of audio recordings to digital files; the digitization of film footage in various formats (reels, VHS, etc);
  • purchase of sleeves, folders, files and other archival standard storage materials to house the on-site collection;
  • a desk-top computer and screen to process scanning and indexation, enabling research online and on-site;
  • design, creation, and launch of a comprehensive interactive website to make these archives readily available to the public. In addition to static archival content the website will include regular blog updates, access to webinars, podcasts, and more.
2. Transportation of Roy Hart Theatre founding member Noah Pikes’ substantial archives from Zurich to Malérargues for preservation and safekeeping;
3. Travel and on-site accommodation costs for qualified interns and volunteers who will undertake the tasks of scanning, indexing, and storing the archival material with the oversight of our partner, the Federal University of Maranhão, Brazil represented by Dr. Roosewelt lins Silva, expert in Library Science, and ARCHEcom volunteer Professor Paula Molinari.

Will I receive a tax receipt?
Tax receipts can be issued by Centre Artistique International Roy Hart for taxpayers in France.

Many thanks for your support.

For further information we welcome you to consult our website here and we invite you to join us for the 50th anniversary of voice, theatre, and music in Maléragues.



This project is made possible in part by the generous support of the the French Ministry for Culture Direction régionale des affaires culturelles, Occitanie, France; the Conseil départemental du Gard , France; the Commune de Thoiras., France; the Federal University of Maranhão, Brazil; the Société Civile Immobilière Fondation de Malérargues; and the Malérargues Endowment Fund .



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Donations 

  • Núria Inglada Cardona
    • €60 
    • 11 d
  • Giovanna Sverzellati
    • €125 
    • 13 d
  • Ramón Estrada Torrescano
    • €200 
    • 19 d
  • Audrey Pernell
    • €120 
    • 20 d
  • Anonymous
    • €15 
    • 23 d
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Fundraising team (3)

Centre Artistique International Roy Hart, Siobhán McCann
Organizer
Raised €215 from 2 donations
Saint-Félix-de-Pallières
Centre Artistique International ROY HART
Beneficiary
Raised €120 from 1 donation
Kevin Crawford
Team member
This team raised €2,655 from 15 other donations.

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