Caroline Sonrier is General and Artistic Director of the Lille Opera since 2001.
In the field of musical patronage, Societe Generale is a spearhead. Thanks to its support, talented artists have been able to develop their visions in innovative forms that have emerged over the last 20 or 30 years on the French musical landscape, although they usually involve old music. Artists of excellence have found a partner in the foundation at critical moments. Corporate sponsorship has the quality of being able to accommodate such projects which do not necessarily fall within the framework and procedures of public cultural institutions. That is one of the reasons that persuaded me to join the foundation’s board of directors.
My professional experience in the musical world has also shown me that Societe Generale practices careful patronage, making sure, once the contract is signed, not to abandon an ensemble if it faces difficulties and needs help getting through a rough patch. As is the case with foundations that have a soul, its staff have a way of studying project flows that is not based on official indicators but takes the time to convene experts, to gather opinions from different fields ‒ which is should inspire us in public funding processes.
What also appeals to me about the foundation’s approach is the idea that music can develop in terms of its artistic excellence and its civic and social dimension, by addressing young people in particular. At the Lille Opera, we share this conviction, and Societe Generale supported us in the creation of the Finoreille workshops, which train hundreds of children in vocal art throughout the Hauts-de-France region, with high artistic standards. While, in general, cultural players have taken up the issue of diversity in recent years, we are still far from the mark. And starting in childhood is the way to diversify the audience and the performers ‒ because diversity must also be present on the sets.
By developing a common vision where the cultural and the social dimensions nourish each other, I strongly believe that the foundation is heading in the right direction. I will do my best to help it by contributing my knowledge of the lyrical and musical landscape, of the regions and of the economic and financial environment of the cultural world.
What also appeals to me about the foundation’s approach is the idea that music can develop in terms of its artistic excellence and its civic and social dimension, by addressing young people in particular. At the Lille Opera, we share this conviction.