On the third floor… B-612

Among the many surprises at the Little Prince Exhibition at the Oca is a reconstitution of the Little Prince’s planet: the highest point of asteroid B-612. In an atmosphere evocative of outer space, the planets visited by the Little Prince are projected onto the ceiling.



Among them, planet Earth with Saint-Ex, of course, not far away: an aircraft circles around the Earth…

We can actually walk on the planet and finally meet the rose, see for ourselves if the volcanoes are indeed extinct.



The planet’s surface is soft and comfortable, and it doesn’t take us long to stretch out on it to gaze at the stars and planets, the dawn and then the twilight, all created by clever lighting.

The trip to Asteroid B-612 is a delightful, unforgettable moment, a chance to live out an episode from the book.

The Little Prince seen through the eyes of Rafael Valle Barradas

We leave behind the Oca for a while, but not Brazil. In a country that is home to thousands of fans of Saint-Ex and the Little Prince, there is also Rafael Valle Barradas. Rafael is a video game illustrator and designer. On his blog he pays more than one tribute to the Little Prince, drawing him in his own style and, like Saint-Exupéry, giving meaning to his creations.


If you would like to find out more about Rafael, read the article we wrote about him.

Draw me a sheep… on the wall

On one of the floors of the major exhibition based on the Little Prince, visitors are invited to enter small interactive pavilions. Inside there are screen animations with soundtracks taken from the book. One pavilion above all captures the attention of old and young alike, however. All the visitor has to do is pick up one of the pastel crayons provided and let imagination run riot.



The famous request: « Please… draw me a sheep » has parked a response in every visitor. Here is a selection of some of the finest sheep from the Oca.



High-profile launch of the exhibition in São Paulo

Forming ties, celebrating universality and coming together were the key themes of this gala evening to launch the exhibition devoted to the Little Prince and Saint-Exupéry.


Among the famous local figures present was former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. François d’Agay, nephew and godson of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and President of the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, gave a speech in which he said he sensed the presence of his uncle and of the Little Prince.


onica, wife of the Governor of São Paulo and a dedicated patroness of charities and voluntary associations, toured the exhibition with François d’Agay, who showed her his uncle’s wedding photo and pointed out the page-boy – none other than himself. Monica Serra and François d'Agay


On the top floor of the exhibition, on a life-sized reproduction of asteroid B-612, actress Luana Piovani (mentioned in one of our previous dispatches) extended a friendly welcome to the representatives of the Saint-Exupéry estate and of the Little Prince in Brazil.
The exhibition has so far attracted over 5,000 visitors


The exhibition has so far attracted over 5,000 visitors.

São Paulo: exclusive pictures

The final preparations are nearing completion. Here are some new photos of the installations making up this giant exhibition devoted to the Little Prince and his author.


One is a reconstitution of the accident of 30 December 1934, a symbol of Saint-Exupéry’s adventurous life and his undying bond with the desert. The Little Prince, projected onto the backdrop, is another reminder of the book, which opens with an emergency landing in the Sahara desert.



In the space given over to Saint-Exupéry himself, a host of original documents, among them his sketches of the Little Prince, will go on display to the public. A timeline along the wall highlights key years in Saint-Exupéry’s life, including his first flight in 1912.



The Oca : behind the scene

The Oca pavilion is a swarming ant-heap, as the whole team pitches in to mount the exhibition soon to be opened to visitors. Come with us behind the scenes of the event, in pictures.


Around the entrance cluster a series of small stalls, reminiscent of the Paris of olden days.



The ground floor is laid out like a vast map, on which lines are marked out tracing the routes flown by l’Aéropostale aircraft in South America and all around the world.



The characters the Little Prince meets on his travels are represented in the form of statues or silhouettes (did you spot the elephant inside the boa constrictor?).

Did you know? An actress plays the Little Prince

Since Brazil is celebrating the Little Prince, it is our turn to tell you a little more about the people who have contributed to his success in this fine country.


ave you heard of Luana Piovani? Born on 29 June 1976, she began her career as a model for the famed Ford agency in 1990 and went on to become an actress and TV presenter. In 2006,  Luana decided to put aside her glamorous image to play the Little Prince in a stage adaptation.



On stage, the Brazilian public discovered a new Luana: hair cropped short, transformed by the Little Prince’s costume, she seemed filled with all the energy of a child. The play, which remains faithful to the original text, is acted with gaiety, vitality and imagination. Luana’s performance proved a huge success with younger audiences, and the play has been staged in both Spain and Portugal.






Luana has also played Juliet in a film version of Romeo and Juliet, and returned to the stage in the play Pássaro da Noite.


Find out more about Luana Piovani on her blog.


The Little Prince is a star in Brazil

The Saint-Exupery’s legend in Brazil
We know that Saint-Exupéry visited Brazil during his time as a pilot for  l’Aéropostale. At a conference one day, he apparently said: « I was involved with the customs of Brazil. » Tradition also has it that a baobab he saw in Natal inspired the writer to include the tree in his tale of the Little Prince. In Florianópolis (a staging post for l’Aéropostale), a hotel where Saint-Exupéry used to stay during the 1920s goes by the name of Hotel Zeperri. History relates that a fisherman made the acquaintance of Saint-Exupéry on one of his stopovers.
The fisherman remembers the size of the notebook that accompanied the aviator everywhere, and his taste for fish soup and for fishing. In Saint-Exupéry, whom he nicknamed « Zeperri », the fisherman saw a man who was « different » from his contemporaries.





The Little Prince in Brazil
Statistics claim that Brazilians read only one book a year per head, but even so the Little Prince is a familiar figure in popular imagination. The Brazilian representatives of the Little Prince staged a play starring Luana Pioavani that has been watched by 200,000 theatre-goers, while the Little Prince himself has featured in fashion shows and at exhibitions and is now the subject of an exhibition at the vast Oca pavilion. The much-loved figure of the Little Prince also serves good causes like the environment or children in need.


The book is included in school programmes. Sheila Dryzun, who represents the Saint-Exupéry Estate in Brazil, has a glowing report to make of the book’s impact on young readers: « It is often the first book children have read that talks about love. » 



In a land of economic contrasts, one of the most recent demonstrations of the Little Prince’s impact on Brazil is the opening of the Pequeno Principe Hospital for sick children, which specialises in cardiac surgery. « Every child in the world is unique » is the motto of a hospital whose ethos is solidarity with the poorest and most disadvantaged.

Virgil Tanase’s play has its premiere this weekend!





On Saturday afternoon, we all have a date with our inner child. Virgil Tanase’s adaptation for the stage is conceived as a child’s game, an inner monologue between the man of today and the child of yesterday. What better place than the theatre to rediscover a child’s imagination? A theatre where a little prince waits for us to come and play with him…


Premiere: Saturday 17 October 2009, 2 p.m.
Théâtre La Pépinière – 7, rue Louis le Grand, Paris II
Métro: Opéra
Bus: 21, 27, 68, 95.
Parking: Marché Saint-Honoré





A melody for a rose

Nikolaus Schapfl is a German-born pianist and composer. Since graduating with honours from the Mozarteum University of Salzburg in 1996, he has toured the world (USA, Europe, China, etc.). In 1998, he composed an opera based on the German edition of The Little Prince. The opera has since been staged over 25 times in 8 different cities, most notably on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the publication of The Little Prince. Now Nikolaus Schapfl has adapted the libretto into French.


On 29 June 2009, at the Rencontres Internationales de Saint-Exupéry event,  Nikolaus Schapfl played an extract from this new version, accompanied by soprano Eléonore Lemaire. The piece was taken from scene 5:  The rose and the Little Prince.



Find out more about Nikolaus Schapfl on his official website and under the heading The phenomenon.

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