The Roy Hart International Arts Centre, in the unspoilt Cévennes hills of southern France, exists to foster the dynamic heritage of Roy Hart Theatre. Roy Hart Theatre is known for its unique work on vocal expression and the extension of the human voice. It has its origins in the work of Alfred Wolfsohn, and his research into the links between the voice and soul. He wrote,
“I live by breathing in and breathing out. I sing by transforming this breath into sound, sound which in turn forms the material for the contents of the soul”.
Many of his pupils continued the work after his death in London, and at the instigation of Roy Hart, they created a radical production of The Bacchae (1968), which drew the attention of Jerzy Grotowski, Peter Brook, Jack Lang, and Jean Louis Barrault (among others) and prompted the creation of Roy Hart Theatre.
Over twenty-five productions toured in Europe, the USA, South America, Israel, and North Africa. Gradually new companies — Panthéâtre, Archipelago et Amadée were formed within Roy Hart Theatre, which led to the creation of the Centre Artistique International Roy Hart (CAIRH)(1991). These companies and other members of the original Roy Hart Theatre company continue to explore the voice, to create, perform, and teach at the Centre and all over the world. To this day, the work of Roy Hart Theatre is recognised as one of the major influences in the field of voice with its artistic and personal applications.
Roy Hart Theatre work is body-oriented, stimulating, and provocative. With emphasis on the uniqueness of each voice, the teaching seeks to inform and strengthen the ‘normal’ vocal range. However, the work also tries to develop in each person’s voice greater height and depth, and even, other voices. All this helps to increase the musical and theatrical ability of each student. The majority of the teachers at the Centre were taught by Roy Hart. Since their move from London to Malérargues in 1974, they have added years of experience in voice, theatre, music, dance, art, movement training, and psychology. Widely known for their sympathetic and professional qualities, each teacher brings special experience and the fruits of their own creative research. Throughout the year invited teachers and scholars bring their particular professional skills and fresh perspectives to the Centre. Most courses are open to everyone. Some are especially designed for beginners who wish to discover RHT work, while others have a particular orientation and are more closely linked to specific disciplines. All courses are accredited by the French government. Participant numbers are limited to ensure that each student receives individual attention.
The voice is the muscle of the soul.