L'Opera Sauvage

a look at the music of Vangelis Papathanassiou

"L'Opera sauvage" is a documentary series exploring the relation between man, music and the animals from all over the world. It is one of the major productions Frédéric Rossif ever made for television and it took him the second half of the seventies to produce the entire series of 21 episodes! Not that much is known about L'Opera Sauvage as unfortunately few recordings of the original broadcasts are known today... Many episodes seem to cover a specific country or region, some of them visit exotic locations such as Peru, Venezuela, India, Ireland, Greece, Bali, Singapore, Zimbabwe, Cameroun and Indonesia. A shortened version of L'opera sauvage has also been broadcast in Germany on Bayerischen Rundfunk, named "Tiere und Mythen".

Other wildlife documentary series and films by Frédéric Rossif that Vangelis provided a musical score for include "L'Apocalypse des animaux" (1971), "La Fête Sauvage" (1976) and "Sauvage et Beau" (1984).

Some of the music that Vangelis made for the TV-series has been officially released on the album "Opera Sauvage", which includes well-known themes such as "Hymne", "Rêve" and "L'enfant", but those form only a fraction of the hours and hours of music that must have been made for the series. Unfortunately, most music made for "L'Opera Sauvage" remains unreleased to this day...

Details and Credits
"L'Opera sauvage" (France, 1975 - 1979) 16 mm color
Broadcast in France late 70's to early 80s on Antenne 2
Length: 21 episodes of about 52 minutes each

Directed by Frédéric Rossif

Music by Vangelis Papathanassiou
Text by Madeleine Chapsal
Dialog by Francois Billetdoux
Cinematography: Bernard Zitzermann
Sound engineer: Harrick Maury
Montage: Marie Sophie Dubus

Producer: Michelle Wiart
Assistent producer: Jean-Charles Cuttoli

Produced by Télé Hachette

The episodes of "L'opera sauvage" have only been broadcast on television, unfortunately no official release of the series exists.


Frédéric Rossif on the set of L'Opera Sauvage