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Guide to Classical Music, Opera and Dance in France

December 2017
Evening performance
Matinee performance
Here's the page to find out what's on in France, whether you're interested in opera, classical concerts, dance or ballet.

The foundations of classical ballet: a French affair?

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

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.

In conversation with Alexandre Tharaud

French pianist Alexandre Tharaud will be touring Europe with the Orchestre Métropolitan of Montreal and its conductor Yannick Nézét-Séguin. On a park bench in front of the Comédie française, Tharaud tells us all.

Interview with François-Xavier Roth

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

Passionate about piano: Alain Lompech

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

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.
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Strauss R.: Elektra
Mikko Franck; Nina Stemme; Waltraud Meier; Emily Magee; Matthias Goerne

DijonLa véritable histoire de Casse-Noisette

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker
Marius Petipa; Lev Ivanov; Gergely Madaras; Orchestre Dijon-Bourgogne; Géraldine Aliberti; Régis Royer

LyonLa CenerentolaNew production

Rossini: La Cenerentola (Cinderella)
Stefano Montanari; Stefan Herheim; Opéra de Lyon; Daniel Unger; Esther Bialas; Cyrille Dubois; Nikolay Borchev

ParisVoyages - Musique de chambre - Orchestre national d'Île-de-France

Pierné, Takemitsu, Jolivet
Musiciens de l'Orchestre national d'Île-de-France; Julie Depardieu
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Lully's Alceste a great success in Versailles

Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques perform Alceste, the most recent effort in their almost complete set of Lully's operas. A strong cast and a remarkable chorus complete a successful performance.
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As English as roast beef: YNS and OM in Paris

On the last leg of their first international tour, the Orchestre Métropolitain and Yannick Nézet-Séguin fully embraced Elgar after a francophone first half of Berlioz and Saint-Saëns. 
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Cavalli's Erismena charms in Versailles

A young, vibrant cast brings to life a rarely performed Baroque opera, in the production from the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence.
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Baroque pyrotechnics: Handel's Serse dazzles at Versailles

An evening of exquisite Baroque music and flamboyant coloratura at the Royal Theatre in Versailles.
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Postcard from Paris

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.