Concert – Sephardic melodies (Harp, Voice and Percussion)

January 22th, 2017

The concert given by Sophie Leleu and Antoine Morineau took place on January 22 and enabled us to raise €395 toward Sonia’s medical treatment.

From the bottom of our hearts we thank all those who shared in this wonderful moment of music and solidarity.


Traditional Sephardic repertoire belongs to those women who down through the centuries orally passed down songs from mother to daughter. These songs speak of their daily life and explore themes of love, mariage and solitude, among others. Most of the songs bear some sort of counsel to be passed on to future generations. The repertoire speaks to us of life, of inner pain, of loving dynamism, and travels through the major feasts that mark out life, among which Sophie Leleu has encorporated her own compositions.

When, in 1492, Catholic kings expelled the Jews from Spain, a two thousand year old and incredibly rich culture spread through the Mediterranean basin. No matter the destination, they took with them and preciously conserved their cultural heritage and Juedeo-Spanish language, which is most often called Ladino, djudezmo, yahudije, or chouadit.

“If the sea contained but milk, then I would become a fisherman, and fish for my sorrow with words of love.” La Serena

Les jeunes de St Jean de Passy soutiennent les enfants de Nambikkay

Singer, harp player, composer and improvisor: Sophie has more than one string to her bow!

After graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, Sophie worked throughout Europe, Asia and the United States as a mezzo-soprano, taking on the role, among others, of Penelope in Montiverdi’s Il ritornod’ Ulisse in patria in London, Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeoed Eiridicein Berlin, Marcellina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro in the château de Rochambeau, Galathée and Bergère in Gérard Pesson’s Pastorale at the Théâtre du Châtelet, the lead-role in Offen bach’s La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein, Nancy T’ang in John Adam’s Nixon in China at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Candelas in de Falla’s El amorbrujo, Jacqueline in Gounod’s Le médecin malgré lui at l’opéra de Saint Etienne, and Carmen in Bizet’s Carmen at the Saigon Opera in Vietnam.

Along side this work Sophie cultivate her passion for ancient folk and Sepheradic songs, revisiting them in performance and composing her own accompaniments on the harp. She has been invited to perform at many festivals, such as the Dinan International Festival, the Arles Harp Festival, and at the Arivault Festival of World Music. Sophie also composes music for the Artemisia troupe, the Gorodka Art Gallery, in collaboration with Monsieur Sigrid, and has recorded for the album Vision by Alpha Blondy.

Les jeunes de St Jean de Passy soutiennent les enfants de Nambikkay

Antoine Morineau was born in France in 1979. As a child he was raised within the western musical tradition, but quickly became interested in the East.

He entered the world of hand percussion by joining the group Keyvan Chemirani and learning the zarb, which quickly became his instrument of choice. To deepen his understanding of the music, he learnt to speak Persian and travelled a number of times to Iran to study under Bahman Rajabi, who is considered “the father of modern technique”. Morineau also studied accompaniment of classical iranian music with M.R. Lotfi. Naturally fascinated by the art of Indian rhythm, he made his debut in Calcutta along side Subhasis Bhattachaarya and Debashish Bhattacharya, all three collaborating with numerous other musicians, such as Debashish Bhattacharya (Calcutta Chronicles), The Ibn ‘Arabi Ensemble, L’Achéron, Jasser Haj Youssef, and Arnaud Méthivier.

« Sophie Leleu is a delight to behold. Her impressive vocal range offers up an intensily nuanced and expressive palette and her presence on stage effort lessly travels through these numerous metamorphoses. This mezzo-soprano transports the listener to a universe of emotion that awakens the imagination. »  S.Lespiaux/Rue du Théâtre

« An incredible talent and sublime voice ! » B.C. le rideau rouge

« Such great artistry – the revelation of the festival! Sophie Leleu’s performances magic up a form on stage that allows the listener to glimpse a universe of incomparable lyricism. » Festival International de Dinan