L’Arbre Roi


Music: Daniel Schell
Libretto : Daniel Schell & Jean-Claude Servais. With the poems of Jacques Lacarrière and Alejandro Jodorowsky.
Decorations: Jean-Claude Servais
The booklet of the opera is based on the comics ‘Déesse blanche, déesse noire’ of Jean-Claude Servais


In one word

Good and bad characters make a symbolical race to the King Tree – l’Arbre Roi -, tree of the good and the evil, located at the end of a large forest. The Gaya fairy drives their fate and regulates their ambulations. To achieve the goal of their search they cross the forest and meet a whole series of mythical characters, the geniuses of the forest. The ones are spirits of the good, the others are the evil and this duality gives its dynamics to the history.

The deep roots shelter the geniuses of the evil. They continuously try to slow down our heroes. On the opposite, the upper branches are the habitat of the gentles. Eventually, above the branches are the crowns, unfortunately out of the range of the small world of the forest. All inhabitants, however dream to reach them.

The moss is a network which covers the forest. It spies the traveller, attracts and captures his thoughts. It is at the same time bed and woman, moist, green and suave. It is a sea of intelligence. What it learns here is immediately transmitted over there. Thanks to the moss, true web of the forest, all is known everywhere.

Unfortunately, the King Tree has got a mysterious disease, and it is followed by the other trees of the forest. MAud will try to save them. She will dance with Beth le Bouleau (the Beech). She and her boyfriend Vivian, will fight against Vanessa and Jack who have brought the mysterious disease to the Forest.


The music is on SoundCloud, just click on the link

“Ygdrasil” Ygdrasil    Music by Daniel Schell on the poem by Jacques Lacarriere, the celtic myth of the tree

“Arbol que Vuela”, Arbol que Vuela music by Daniel Schell on the poem by Alejandro Jodorowsky. Alejandro has  a deep mythic and symbolic view of the tree.

“J’esperais la mer” J’espérais la Mer

and “Beth le Bouleau”  Beth le Bouleau     are both parts of the libretto by Jean-Claude Servais. Beth is a celtic name for the birch (bouleau in French)


List of the characters:

Maud:, 18 years old, fairy comes from the human world soprano
Vanessa 18 years old, witch comes from the human world alto
Vivian, friend of Maud tenor
Jack, friend of Vanessa barytone

The characters of the forest:

The fairy Gaya Alto
The guard of the jewels Counter-tenor
Anicet the Imp, spirit of good Counter-tenor
Malicious the Troll, esprit du mal Barytone-Bass
The little fairy Incantadès, spirit of good, at the orée of forest Coloratur
The Roots, water plagues, evil spirit Barytone-bass
The Branches, spirit of good Counter-tenor
Tourmentine, diabolic grass tuft adhesive walkers Alto
The Ogre, short-sighted giant appeared
The Ogress, she keeps her seven children in her skirt so that the ogre (who sees nothing) does not eat them Barytone-bass
The 7 childrens of the ogress Small chorus of childrens
The Couzzietti : cursed bramble which hangs the feet of the walkers Barytone-bass
The Red Bonnets, cruel beings which soak their cover-chief in blood. Counter-tenor, coloratur
The Moss, spirit of the good, natural network circulator of the news in the forest. Corrode also the bars of the prisons. Counter-tenor, alto

In total, the booklet is written in order to cumulate the following roles:
Coloratur: Incantandès fairy, Red Bonnets
Alto: Fairy Gaya, Tourmentine; the Foam.
Counter-tenor: the Guard of the jewels, Anicet, Branches, Red Bonnets , the Foam

Baritone Bass: Malicious the Troll, Roots, Ogresse, Couzietti.
The characters of the forest can thus be only allotted to 4 singers.
The total staff complement of the singers soloists is thus 8:
Coloratur, soprano, mezzo, alto, counter-tenor, tenor, baritone, baritone-bass.


Excerpts have been created in the Ville de Rambouillet in April 2006:
Mathilde Sevrin: soprano
Gregory Decerf: barytone
Ensemble du Conservatoire Royal de Mons.
Direction & piano: Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven.
Pauline Lantin, clarinet.

Hoat N’Guyen, violin.
Angélique Charbonnel, cello.
Christofel Delaat, double-bass.
Jerome Baudart, percussion.
With the financial support of the Ville de Rambouillet.
Simultaneaous creation: Espace Senghor, Brussels.