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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.
September 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...

“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. 

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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Janáček: Jenůfa
Štefan Veselka; Yves Lenoir; Opéra de Dijon; Damien Caille-Perret; Jean-Jacques Delmotte; Sarah-Jane Brandon; Sabine Hogrefe

ParisPhilharmonia Orchestra

Wagner, Schoenberg, Bruckner
Philharmonia Orchestra; Esa-Pekka Salonen

DijonLate Schubert #1

Andreas Staier, Piano

DijonVespers à la Serenissima

Cavalli: Vespero della Beata Vergine Maria
Étienne Meyer; Anne Magouët; Dagmar Saskova; Pascal Bertin; Antonio Giovannini
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Risky Business at Hotel de Sully

© Andrea Fernandez
Ambra Senatore’s Promenade À Sully presented as part of the Paris L'Eté festival manages to navigate the chance of site specific work with quirky and refreshing ease
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Human Flesh in Frangible Ritual

© François Stemmer
Locked into a hypnotic, perpetual loop to blaring, banging mechanical sounds, nine women and nine men stride along walking upstage to downstage as if they have been sold to some force from which there is no return.
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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.
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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.