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Guide to Classical Music, Opera and Dance in France

Here's the page to find out what's on in France, whether you're interested in opera, classical concerts, dance or ballet.
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Focus on Ballet

The foundations of classical ballet: a French affair?

Louis XIV, represenetd as Louis Appolo © Wikicommons
It’s common knowledge that Louis XIV developed the foundations of classical ballet in the late 17th century, during his long and rather extraordinary reign as King of France. But was the French King the true mastermind of ballet technique? 

Ballet in Paris: a little History of the French Technique

Serge Lifar, dancer with Les Ballets Russes, and Director of the Paris Opéra Ballet © Wikicommons
Origins: from the Royal court of Louis XIV to neoclassicism.  The Paris Opera Ballet company has a long-standing History, dating back to 1662, and the establishment of the Académie Royale de Danse by Louis XIV. At the time, the Academy’s mission was to develop the theatrical dance style performed in court, which noblemen and the King himself took part in.
Interviews

Pierre Audi: thirty years of mythic mystery

Pierre Audi © Sarah Wong
The director/producer of more than 400 operas tells us about La morte d'Orfeo, his last production before leaving for Aix in September, about Wagner, about working with the visual arts and more...

“Bruckner, the progressive": François-Xavier Roth

François-Xavier Roth © Marco Borggreve
Ahead of Gürzenich Orchestra's live stream on 3rd October, we caught up with Chief Conductor François-Xavier Roth. 
Interviews

Passionate about piano: Alain Lompech

Alain Lompech in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil © Albert SIlver
Meet Alain Lompech, music critic and piano specialist, who for forty years has watched the development of the music scene in France and abroad.

Jean-Guihen Queyras, the cellist with a thousand faces

Jean-Guihen Queyras © Marco Borggreve
Queyras will be touring Europe from the end of November with Yannick Nézét-Séguin and the Montreal-based orchestra. We meet a musician who is as passionate as he is eclectic.
Upcoming eventsSee more...

Aix-en-ProvenceAriadne auf Naxos

Rupert Charlesworth (Dancing Master), Sabine Devieilhe (Zerbinetta) and troupe © Pascal Victor / Artcompress
Strauss R.: Ariadne auf Naxos
Marc Albrecht; Katie Mitchell; Chloe Lamford; Sarah Blenkinsop; Lise Davidsen; Sabine Devieilhe

Aix-en-ProvenceDie Zauberflöte

Trial by water: Stanislas de Barbeyrac (Tamino), Mari Eriksmoen (Pamina) © Pascal Victor | artcompress
Mozart: Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)
Raphaël Pichon; Simon McBurney; Michael Levine; Nicky Gillibrand; Stanislas de Barbeyrac; Mari Eriksmoen

Aix-en-ProvenceJorge Pardo Trio

Jorge Pardo; Carles Benavent; Tino Di Geraldo

Aix-en-ProvenceDido and Aeneas

Purcell: Dido and Aeneas
Václav Luks; Vincent Huguet; Aurélie Maestre; Caroline de Vivaise; Kelebogile Besong; Sophia Burgos
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Putting the magic back into Zauberflöte at Aix

Trial by water: Stanislas de Barbeyrac (Tamino), Mari Eriksmoen (Pamina) © Pascal Victor | artcompress
McBurney's brilliant stagecraft brings child-like wonderment to the most hardened adults; his interpretation and Raphaël Pichon's conducting exude Mozartian rightness.
*****
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Occult, mystical, extreme: Prokofiev’s Fiery Angel in Aix

Aušrinė Stundytė (Renata) © Pascal Victor | artcompress
With a stunningly inventive and modern-sounding score, strong acting performances and a staging full of theatrical illusion and coherent in spite of general weirdness, Aix's Fiery Angel impresses.
****1
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Blissful soprano singing: Ariadne in Aix

Rupert Charlesworth (Dancing Master), Sabine Devieilhe (Zerbinetta) and troupe © Pascal Victor / Artcompress
Lise Davidsen and Sabine Devieilhe produce soprano heaven in their contrasting vocal styles. Katie Mitchell’s staging feels disappointingly familiar.
***11
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Marton turns Don Giovanni into a wrist-slashing wimp

Philippe Sly (Don Giovanni) and ensemble © Jean-Pierre Maurin
A disappointing new production by David Marton at Opéra de Lyon. 
**111
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Postcard from Paris

The Eiffel Tower by night © Mark Pullinger
In Paris to catch some culture? Here's our editor's suggestions on what to do in the city, what to see and where to eat.