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Rurality and Roots at Puy du Fou Theme Park Show Disney’s Mickey How To Do It

Rurality and Roots at Puy du Fou Theme Park Show Disney’s Mickey How To Do It

Two tablespoons of history, a dash of religion, a soupçon of entertainment and voilà, a winning recipe for France’s favourite theme park – the Puy du Fou in the Vendée, whose politician-founder has just released a controversial new book.     Billed as the world’s best theme park, Puy du Fou, boasts of outplaying the Disneyland […]

Viva l’Opéra 2015/ 2016 Season Live in Cinemas Near You From October

Viva l’Opéra 2015/ 2016 Season Live in Cinemas Near You From October

Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro – from the Zurich Opera house -opens the new Viva l’Opéra 2015-2016 season playing from October 8 on the screens of the UGC cinema chain around France. The inaugral opera of the season includes Erwin Schrott singing Figaro, Martina Janková as Susanna and Michael Volle as Il Conte di Almaviva. In an echo of the hugely successful live broadcasts from the New York […]

World-Renowned French Arts Festivals Hit by Eighth Year of EU’s Austerity Diet

World-Renowned French Arts Festivals Hit by Eighth Year of EU’s Austerity Diet

Two years ago San Francisco music conservatory graduate Robert Turnbull — a keen amateur pianist – set out boldly to create a piano festival in south-east France that would give young European concert pianists a free summer platform and career exposure. The inaugural Fantaisie de Musique à Lagrasse set up in a small village of […]

Theatre in Paris Completes €100,000 ‘Love Money’ Funding to Expand Its Surtitled Shows

Theatre in Paris Completes €100,000 ‘Love Money’ Funding to Expand Its Surtitled Shows

Enjoyed the acclaimed performance by feisty Gérard Depardieu in the (dubbed/subtitled) film version? Now drop in to see Cyrano de Bergerac at Théâtre le Ranelagh in Paris where English surtitles mean you won’t lose the plot. Inspired by the long tradition of French cinemas offering VO films (movies in their original language but subtitled) THEATRE IN PARIS one year […]

Move over Steinway; Pleyel and Erard Got There First, Gaveau Too, Wasn’t That Far Behind

Move over Steinway; Pleyel and Erard Got There First, Gaveau Too, Wasn’t That Far Behind

Recently Google published a doodle to mark the 360th birthday of Bartolomeo Cristofori, the Venetian credited with inventing the pianoforte, an instrument that today serious pianists are likely to know only as a Steinway. But while the famous German-conceived black concert grand that now dominates classical performances in top-class halls around the globe, is to piano […]

After PM’s Apology Are France’s Summer 2015 Festivals Now Safe From Austerity Cuts?

After PM’s Apology Are France’s Summer 2015 Festivals Now Safe From Austerity Cuts?

After a striking display of naked anger threatened France’s world-famous Avignon summer festival season last year, Prime Minister Manuel Valls has now admitted cuts to the nation’s generous Arts budget were a big mistake and suggested he might ring fence future monies for culture activities. The news will go some way to lifting the gloom that […]

Souillac Jazz Festival 2015 – 40th Year of Jazz, Great Jazz, Nothing But Jazz

Souillac Jazz Festival 2015 – 40th Year of Jazz, Great Jazz, Nothing But Jazz

The 40th Souillac Jazz Festival takes place this year in the same spirit that has guided it since 1976: jazz, great jazz, and nothing but jazz. The 40th edition of the festival promises to be a major event, marking 40 years of jazz – from Memphis Slim to Kenny Garrett – in a small town […]

Now via Internet Europe’s Great Opera Houses Offer Free Performances for All

Now via Internet Europe’s Great Opera Houses Offer Free Performances for All

Marking the 9th Annual European Opera Days weekend European opera houses have launched an Internet-based Opera Platform offering free access to performances transmitted from many of Europe’s magnificent opera houses. This year the annual open days event takes place over the period 8 to 11 May coinciding with a live transmission from Madrid’s Teatro Real of La Traviata, released […]

Charles Darwin’s Links to Vence Highlighted in Family Exhibition Through to end-March

Charles Darwin’s Links to Vence Highlighted in Family Exhibition Through to end-March

Gwen Raverat (1885-1957), grand-daughter of Charles Darwin, and herself a celebrated print-maker and miniaturist, spear-headed the revival of wood engraving in the 20th Century and now for the first time in 90 years her work can be seen in France. Theme: Deux Darwin à Vence Exhibition Saturday March 7 to Saturday March 28 2015 from […]

Les Heritiers An Overlooked Box Office Success Offers Hope Amid Post-Attack Tensions

Les Heritiers An Overlooked Box Office Success Offers Hope Amid Post-Attack Tensions

“Once In a Lifetime” (Les Héritiers), a rather overlooked feel-good film released a month before the deadly assaults on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket, is pulling crowds of film fans across small town France, with a message of hope for today’s “multicommunautaire, multiconfessionnelle” society. Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar’s film which opened in France on December […]

After 250 Years Will A Brussels Digital Challenger Destroy French Sheet Music Publishers?

After 250 Years Will A Brussels Digital Challenger Destroy French Sheet Music Publishers?

Like their Italian and German counterparts’ centuries-old French musical publishers are being forced to learn digital survival tactics in an age where orchestral music stands armed with Ipads may be about to replace traditional printed scores in European concert halls. Just as the ubiquitous Amazon has challenged and disarmed traditional booksellers worldwide and digital platforms […]

Across France: Viva l’Opéra 2014/ 2015 Season Now Live in Cinemas Near You

Across France: Viva l’Opéra  2014/ 2015 Season Now Live in Cinemas Near You

Mozart’s Magic Flute from the Bregenz Festival in Austria will be the opera highlight of the Christmas Holidays, screening on 4th and 11th December 2014 as part of the UGC cinema chain’s Viva l’Opéra 2014-2015 broadcast season around France. In an echo of the hugely successful live broadcasts from the New York Met matinees that are screened in […]

Former Aisne Church Becomes a Kit Armstrong Concert Hall and Artistic Residence

Former Aisne Church Becomes a Kit Armstrong Concert Hall and Artistic Residence

What might inspire a young international pianist and former child prodigy to transform an abandoned church in the Aisne, northern France, into his very own concert hall, home  and artistic residence? Churches, with their high vaulted ceilings are frequently the preferred venue for classical and sacred music concerts across France thanks to their special acoustics, and it was this that attracted Kit […]

Jazz That Transcends Borders Comes With the 39th Souillac Jazz Festival – 19-26 July 2014

Jazz That Transcends Borders Comes With the 39th Souillac Jazz Festival – 19-26 July 2014

The Souillac Jazz Festival which runs 19-26 July 2014 in the Lot, SW France, is an especially poignant cultural event this year — the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. For among the American contingent in the Allied offensive of 1944 was one Sim Copans — who as a non-combatant in the US Army — […]

Festival de Cannes 2014 – Rumour Mill Begins, Paris Match Tips Favourites

Festival de Cannes 2014 – Rumour Mill Begins, Paris Match Tips  Favourites

The 67th Cannes Film Festival opens May 14 running through to May 24 with the official selection set for April 18. But for now here, courtesy of Paris Match, are the latest rumours on what’s being tipped for competition at the world’s most prestigious Film Festival. French actor Lambert Wilson — best known for his […]

In Rural Banon One of France’s Biggest Bookstores Fights for Survival

In Rural Banon One of France’s Biggest Bookstores Fights for Survival

A valiant David and Goliath struggle is underway to save a bookstore in rural Alpes-de-Haute Provence from the ‘ogres of the Internet’. Here Jerry Lanson visits Le Bleuet to see for himself why people will drive 100kms just to buy a Bleuet book! Reprinted with the author’s kind permission – copyright Jerry Lanson (words and some images). A […]

Broadway Musical Replacing French Operetta?

Broadway Musical Replacing French Operetta?

While the musical again breaks all theatre records in London’s West End, and booms away on Broadway, it is now also making unexpected headway on the Champs-Élysées. According to Victor Tribot Laspière of France Musique “La Belle et la Bête” (Beauty and the Beast) is currently booked out at the Mogador Theatre in Paris, while “My […]

Claudio Abbado – End of an Era

Claudio Abbado – End of an Era

For nearly 36 hours France Musique dedicated its entire output moments after his death, to one of the world’s greatest contemporary conductors — a quite remarkable tribute to an opera and orchestral giant who will be much missed.  Here our music correspondent John Preedy,  who blogs at Living in the Lot, offers a personal view […]

Want to Copy Mona Lisa? Join the Queue

Want to Copy Mona Lisa? Join the Queue

Millions line-up for hours to gawk at the Mona Lisa and other Louvre masterpieces each year, but only a few come armed with oil paints and brushes, and these copyists have to wait as long as two years to be allowed to ply a profession sanctioned by a 1795 law. In the Denon Wing of […]

Englishwoman’s Hidden Life in Wartime France

Englishwoman’s Hidden Life in Wartime France

The French among many other wartime nations, have launched a national effort to collect, digitalise and preserve, images, papers and personal memorabilia from the two World Wars that ravaged Europe last century. Aptly illustrating the vital importance of such primary sources, prize-winning British novelist, biographer and journalist Nicholas Shakespeare —  writing here exclusively for French News Online readers — describes how, poking […]

“Invasion forces” Repelled at Rodilhan Bullfight

“Invasion forces” Repelled at Rodilhan Bullfight

Efforts by joint American and European animal rights groups to disrupt the traditional annual bullfight in the village of Rodilhan (pop: 2 528) near Nimes in southern France were thwarted Sunday by a heavy riot police presence. (This story has been updated below, with a contribution from two animal rights activists to reflect their viewpoint), […]

All that Jazz – And an American GI in France

All that Jazz – And an American GI in France

Anyone living in France soon realises the country takes its jazz very seriously, ranking it as a high art form and ennobling it with prominent slots on flagship radio stations such as France Musique and France Culture. Not all that surprising perhaps. New Orleans – birthplace of jazz — was after all a French protectorate […]

50 Years On, Paris Remembers Edith Piaf

50 Years On, Paris Remembers Edith Piaf

50 years on, Paris remembers Edith Piaf (via AFP) Fifty years after her death, Edith Piaf will on Thursday be remembered in the working-class Paris neighbourhood that produced one of the world’s greatest, and most tragic, performers. And even the Catholic Church, which refused to grant the divorced…  

Viva l’Opéra ’13/’14 – Live in Cinemas near You

Viva l’Opéra ’13/’14 – Live in Cinemas near You

Verdi’s Nabucco from La Scala in Milan, part of the 200th anniversary celebrations across Europe this year, will open the UGC cinema chain’s Viva l’Opéra 2013-2014 broadcast season around France.  In an echo of the hugely successful live broadcasts from the New York Met matinees that are screened in cinemas across France and the rest of the world, the Paris […]

Toulouse, Capital of the October Organ Fe(a)st

Toulouse, Capital of the October Organ Fe(a)st

South-west France, richly endowed with magnificent pipe organs and famous organ builders, celebrates this rich musical heritage each Autumn with a world-renowned international organ festival — Toulouse-les-Orgues. The southwest is the cradle of the great 19th-century organ builders Aristide Cavaillé-Coll and Théodore Puget and a repository for some of their original preserved and restored instruments. Indeed 60 organs in the region […]

Real Food Restaurants – The Fightback Begins

Real Food Restaurants  – The Fightback Begins

With two out of three French restaurants reported to be no more than food assembly lines — microwaving packs of prepared industrial cuisine — concerned consumers are starting to demand value for money and signs to flag up home made food. The fight back against industrialised ‘restauranteering’ in France – reportedly some 80 % of the […]

French Sculptor’s Twin Towers Tribute

French Sculptor’s Twin Towers Tribute

Given the unique horror of the event there are many who still remember where they were or what they were doing when the World Trade Center was attacked on 11 September 2001  — among them is French sculptor Jean-Sébastien Raud. Jean-Sébastien Raud lives and works in Puteaux, near the high rise towers of the La Défense business […]

California Challenges Cahors on 4th July

California Challenges Cahors on 4th July

Paul Bush, a Californian winery owner is preparing a cheeky challenge this 4th of July with a special celebratory tasting pitting his wine against the famous French black wine and doing so in the Malbec heartland of Cahors. The challenge is the brainwave of the Americans in the Lot association which told French News Online: “The Bush […]

Storming the D-Day Beaches — 69 Years On

Storming the D-Day Beaches — 69 Years On

As survivors of perhaps the most critical western European battle of World War II grow thin on the ground, France has unveiled two new commemorative sites to keep the memory of twin European catastrophes alive.   At Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, an important Huguenot centre of French Resistance during World War II,  a new museum was opened Monday June 3 2013. […]

Libé’s Full Frontal Makes a Point in English

Libé’s Full Frontal Makes a Point in English

Libé, pop-paper of the trendy Left, has shocked the nation by publishing a front page entirely in English — while subversively failing to provide French sub-titles! The splash comes as feelings on university campuses and among what would once have been Left Bank cafe intellectuals, run high over plans to offer some courses at French universities … in […]

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