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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.
March 2018
Evening performance
Matinee performance
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.

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...

Interview with 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. 

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.
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LyonDon CarlosNew production

Michele Pertusi (Philippe) and Sally Matthews (Elisabeth) © Jean-Louis Fernandez
Verdi: Don Carlo(s)
Daniele Rustioni; Christophe Honoré; Opéra de Lyon; Alban Ho Van; Pascaline Chavanne; Michele Pertusi; Sergey Romanovsky

ParisConcert with Liya Petrova, Adrien La Marca et Aurélien Pascal

Bach: Goldberg Variations (arr. Sitkovetsky for string orchestra)
Liya Petrova; Adrien La Marca; Aurélien Pascal

DijonSimon Boccanegra

Simon Boccanegra
Verdi: Simon Boccanegra
Roberto Rizzi-Brignoli; Philipp Himmelmann; Opéra de Dijon; Etienne Pluss; Kathi Maurer; Vittorio Vitelli; Luciano Batinic

ParisBernstein's Mass

Bernstein: Mass
Orchestre de Paris; Lionel Sow; Wayne Marshall; Choeur de l'Orchestre de Paris; Ensemble Aedes; Jubilant Sykes
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Darkness and grandeur in Christophe Honoré's Don Carlos

Michele Pertusi (Philippe) and Sally Matthews (Elisabeth) © Jean-Louis Fernandez
A (nearly) complete performance of the original French version of Don Carlos forms the centrepiece of Daniele Rustioni's Verdi Festival in Lyon. 
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Macbeth, Thane of Wall Street

Elchin Azizov (Macbeth) and Susanna Branchini (Lady Macbeth) © Stofleth
In Lyon, Daniele Rustioni drives through a pulsating reading of Macbeth, Ivo van Hove's imaginative setting not always fully backed by the vocal performances.
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Mature musicality and seasoned virtuosity from Jan Lisiecki and Krzysztof Urbański in Lyon

Krzysztof Urbański © Marco Borggreve
With a pianist of the calibre of Jan Lisiecki, Krzysztof Urbański has created an award winning collaboration which puts the two Poles way apart from many other soloist-conductor combinations. 
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Respighi rarity a riotous romp at Opéra de Lyon

Nikoleta Kapetanidou (The princess) and Grégoire Mour (The Prince) © Blandine Soulage
L’Opéra de Lyon’s new production of Respighi’s La bella dormente nel bosco was an operatic pastiche with fairy tale fantasy and foxtrots thrown in for good measure.   
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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.