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The Ugly Tourneboutling

Musical and family show from 4 years

In early times, wind instruments always worked together as families, or consorts. Never alone, they would play together in a spirit of mutual support: a family of four flutes, oboes, bassoons or horns, of different sizes, and coming in all shapes and colours.

In a clearing in the middle of a forest, the Bious family tinker and mend, and tune and play their many musical instruments. But what about that strange little bent instrument over there, all alone (not a good sign) and emitting a peculiar “quack-quack” sound? And not only is it on its own but, to make matters worse, it is ugly!

The Ugly Tourneboutling tells the story of a rare instrument, the tournebout or crumhorn, which, like the Ugly Duckling, is unable to find its family. Rejected because others find its shape and sound unpleasant, it makes every effort to fit in – slipping into a Vivaldi concerto, the Pink Panther theme, a sixteenth-century pavan, Cuban music, and other pieces – but to no avail! The others make fun of it, malign it, and drive it away! In the end, however, during a memorable storm, it finds its own family and at last it is able to play with them… Singin’ in the rain!


​Collective creation coproduced with the Opéra de Tours, directed by Création collective Laurent Campellone.


Denis Raisin Dadre, artistic direction
Philippe Vallepin, staging

Johanne Maître, shawms, dulcinas, recorders, crumhorns
Elsa Frank, shawms, dulcinas, recorders, crumhorns
Denis Raisin Dadre, shawms, dulcinas, recorders, crumhorns
Jérémie Papasergio, shawms, dulcinas, recorders, crumhorns
Bruno Caillat, percussions

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