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Guide to Classical Music, Opera and Dance in France

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.
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Interview with François-Xavier Roth

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

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. 
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ToulouseGiselle

Adam: Giselle
Jean Coralli; Jules Perrot; Kader Belarbi; Ballet du Capitole; Théâtre du Capitole; Nathan Fifield; Thierry Bosquet; Olivier Bériot; Chœur du Capitole

LyonWar Requiem

Britten: War Requiem, Op.66
Daniele Rustioni; Yoshi Oida; Opéra de Lyon; Tom Schenk; Thibault Vancraenenbroeck; Lutz Deppe; Maxine Braham

ParisProkofiev, Hindemith, Strauss

Prokofiev, Hindemith, Strauss R.
Orchestre National de France; Marek Janowski; Xavier Phillips

DijonLe Sacre du printemps

Stravinsky, Beethoven
Les Dissonances; David Grimal
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Cavalli's Erismena illuminates the Jeu de Paume

Don't attempt to plough through the synopsis, but enjoy Cavalli's sexy score, persuasively performed in Jean Bellorini's modern staging. 
***11
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A rake's progress: Don Giovanni let loose in Aix

Jean-François Sivadier's pulsating new production propels The Don through his lusty adventures at a whirlwind pace. 
*****
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McBurney paints a blank canvas in Aix

Simon McBurney's production of The Rake's Progress for Festival d'Aix-en-Provence begins with the equivalent of a blank page – a simple white paper box onto which he pours his inspiration.
****1
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Carmen as therapy in Aix

Love may well be a rebellious bird, but that's as nothing to maverick director Dmitri Tcherniakov, whose twisted staging for Festival d'Aix reimagines Bizet's opera as a radical therapy session.
**111
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La nouvelle Philharmonie de Paris

Un état des lieux sur le projet de la nouvelle Philharmonie de Paris, à l'aube d'une ouverture très commentée. 

Summer music and opera in France

In July and August, Parisians flee the city to the provinces, where stunning landscapes and hundreds of music festivals await them. We explore the rich diversity.