The Pastoral in Provence

Noel spent, the festivities are far from finished in Provence: from December to the end of January, is played in many towns and villages of Provence: Pastoral .

It is a purely religious piece, sung and spoken in the Provençal, the Nativity, interpreted by amateur troops, often the villagers themselves (the shepherds, “li pastre”, are the main characters).

The most famous Pastorale is that of Antoine Maurel, founded in 1844 in Marseille, represented every year throughout Provence and which stages the march of the star (bello estello).

This improvised pilgrimage is in fact a miracle race. This pastoral includes 5 acts in Provençal verse, except for the 4th, rarely played, whose characters (Herod and the Three Wise Men) are spoken in French. The first act of the Pastorale tells of the awakening of the shepherds by the angel announcing the good news.

The second act narrates the awakening of the old people of the village.

The third act consists of two pictures: one takes place in front of the farm where all the people gather before the departure for Bethlehem, and the second one around the well where some, the most fearful, are terrorized by the gypsy .. The last act Is devoted to the worship of the Magi and the shepherds before the stable of the nativity.

There are also the Pastorale d’Audibert played in French, the Bellot pastoral, street pastoral and many more: can be played in the church or in a Maurel pastoral hall and some are even itinerant like that of Vedène!