Gard: KavKop, an unprecedented adventure created by a scenographer and a singer in Pont-Saint-Esprit

The former cooperative cellar of Pont-Saint-Esprit is becoming an artistic space which will open its doors to the public in May.

It’s first and foremost a love story… That of opera singer and diva Christel Von Lindstat and director Pascal de Symbialys.

In 2019, the couple bought the former cooperative cellar of Pont-Saint-Esprit, an exceptional place for an exceptional project: to create a concept combining their worlds and their passions, in order to offer the spectator a unique experience, “immersive and lyrical”a journey that appeals to our five senses and our emotions in order to “re-enchant our imagination”.

Under construction for two years

The two artists were immediately seduced by the acoustics of the building and its industrial architecture. They are joined by an investor and friend, Joël Aidinian, nicknamed the “ProteKtor” of the place.

“This project combines art, personal development, human ways to counterbalance the ambient technocracy, explains Joel Aidinian. The world needs meaning right now. Individually, many ask questions about the meaning of life. Especially since people have just gone through two difficult years. Here, it’s one path among thousands.”

The metamorphosis of the cellar began two years ago. A substantial project: the electricians, for example, pulled five kilometers of cables. At the moment, a Bagnolese ironworker is creating structures and ramps, she has carte blanche…

A thousand m2 and a labyrinth of puzzles

Pascal de Symbialys created an escape game in Auvergne in 2014, a labyrinthine imaginary world that seduced visitors. KavKop has one dimension “a little more exceptional”.

The scenographer draws his inspiration from the post-apocalyptic universe of the steampunk movement. “It’s a real maze where works of art, salvaged furniture, iconoclastic costumes are intertwined…”, for atmospheres à la Tim Burton or à la Caro and Jeunet…

“There is particularly here the deep intention of de-dramatizing death. In India, a country that captivates me, death is omnipresent. The best way to prepare for it: “I tried my dreams, I would have been myself”. Death is evoked here in the manner of the animated film coconutsummarizes Pascal de Symbialys.

This project combines art and personal development, human ways to counterbalance technocracy

Concretely, the public is invited to disembark disguised in the style of the place, “to allow yourself to be who you are, free!”. To soak up the atmosphere, he first enters a large room designed as a 19th century cabinet of curiosities where contemporary works of art are also invited.

Then, “the quiet universe will be transformed. A countdown will begin”. In teams of five people, the public will evolve in a labyrinth of more than 1,000 m2. In each room, especially in the old vats (33 in all), there will be puzzles to solve in five minutes. “It’s a mix of life-size game of goose, indoor theater and escape game…” one of the objectives of which is to “Cry of happiness, to release deep emotions!”.

KavKop, “it’s a case for a pearl”

Two hours later, a grandiose one-hour finale awaits the public. The creators of KavKop wish to remain discreet about “the acme of the course”. Singer Christel Von Lindstat will take the stage with musicians for an acoustic and sensory experience, “a crazy, quirky opera, underground opera. I’m very free here”confides the one who has always dreamed of creating bridges between classical music and contemporary music.

KavKop, “it’s a case for a pearl” launches Pascal from Symbialys. And for visitors, the promise of marveling and living a unique collective and interior experience.

A new life for the cooperative cellar

The cooperative cellar of PontSaint-Esprit closed its doors in 2008. Up to 300 winegrowers brought their harvest there. She is now at the dawn of a new life with KavKop, a project that cost over €800,000 and created five jobs. “And there are still two floors to develop if it turns out that our feelings were the right ones!”, Hear if the public is there. 2022 is the year of season 1, titled “Passages”. The decorations and proposals are brought to evolve over the seasons and the years.

KavKop, 232, rue du Commando Vigan-Braquet, in Pont-Saint-Esprit. Contact: 06 15 62 02 37. Open in May, Friday and Saturday, 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Accessible to people with reduced mobility. The website will be online at the beginning of March ( Price: €69, presale from March 31 with launch price of €49. Capacity: 299 people.

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