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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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

World Organ Day – 850 concerts on 5 continents

World Organ Day – 850 concerts on 5 continents

May 6th 2013 is World Organ Day with 850 concerts spanning the globe, led by the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris in an event marking the 850th anniversary of this historic Parisian landmark.  In 2013, the event covers 5 continents, with more than 850 concerts playing the widest selection of works in the majestic organ […]

Does Paris Love its Kiosks Enough?

Does Paris Love its Kiosks Enough?

Paris has had a love affair with its ornate newspaper kiosks for the past 150 years but there are growing fears they may disappear mainly because the Internet is eroding the market for printed media. As a result the City of Paris has announced a campaign to persuade Parisians to show their kiosks more Tender […]

Gabriel Elbaz – Sculptures in Search of a Museum

Gabriel Elbaz – Sculptures in Search of a Museum

John Preedy talks to Gabriel Elbaz, a French sculptor whose roots go back to the Russia his fiercely communist mother Magda fled in 1922 and whose monumental works in wood are now in search of a suitable European home. Gabriel Elbaz – A Life’s Work is Looking for a Home At his house in the […]

Plogoff Plays Piano Scales on the Clifftop

Plogoff Plays Piano Scales on the Clifftop

Plogoff in Finistère on the weather-beaten Brittany coast doesn’t presently have many world-class concert pianists … but that may be about to change.   The residents of this small farming village (pop 1,388) have by turns been amazed and amused with the discovery of a solid, old Holstein piano — weighing about 150 kg — that somehow […]

Festival de Cannes 2013 – Rumour Mill Begins

Festival de Cannes 2013 – Rumour Mill Begins

The 66th Cannes Film Festival opens May 15 running through to May 26 with the official selection set for April 18. But for now here are the latest rumours on what’s being tipped for official competition and other sections of the world’s most prestigious Film Festival. These possible front runners are as punted byYannick Vely […]

The High Priest of the Presidential Table

The High Priest of the Presidential Table

Bernard Vaussion, chef de l’Elysée, executive chef at the presidential palace, retires soon after 38 years feeding French presidents, a career making him France’s culinary high priest yet leaving him relatively unknown in the guidebooks of haute cuisine. For this Chefs des Chefs, is more of a secret agent than a culinary super-star. After all, he […]

Pierre Cardin’s Lacoste – the Curse of Sade?

Pierre Cardin’s Lacoste – the Curse of Sade?

When Pierre Cardin set about restoring virtually an entire decaying village in the Luberon in 2001, he might have expected that the millions of euros pouring into the regional economy would endear him to the locals.   Nora Arnezeder and Pierre Cardin at a French cinema festival . (Credit: Wikipedia) How wrong he was. Bradley […]

Resident Dutch Artists in Bordeaux

Resident Dutch Artists in Bordeaux

Five Dutch artists resident in France are exhibiting works at Court Mably Bordeaux in the run-up to Christmas. The exhibition is under the auspices of the Embassy of the Netherlands. Full details of the participating artists, Jan Jacob Brein,Herman Driessen,Ine van Helfteren, Joke Wittevrongel J-Ph Rauzet,can be found here 5 DEC – 19 DEC 2012 […]

Viva l’Opéra – Live in a Cinema near You

Viva l’Opéra – Live in a Cinema near You

The Paris Opéra Bastille production of Jacques Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann opens the UGC cinema chain Viva l’Opéra 2012-2013 live 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 Opera and the […]

Alpine Hackers Internet hook-up

Alpine Hackers Internet hook-up

No Internet in your rural French idyll?  Well a group of eco-geeks who set out to prove there are semi-sophisticated workarounds that can deliver, has semi-solved your problem, and that while sitting in a tent in the Alpes Maritimes. The new counter-culture whose credo resembles that of the peace and love generation of the 60s is represented […]

Radio France with an Accent Anglais?

Radio France with an Accent Anglais?

In just a few short weeks a fluently French-speaking Brit with an unmistakeable accent, has provoked uproar among an elite Radio France audience who prefer the erudite to the trivial. Since the rentrée in September France Musique’s Musique Matin flagship slot has been presented by Alex Taylor, a 52-year-old polyglot, raised in Cornwall, and now […]

Festivals 2010 – Cahors Blues meets Africajarc

Festivals 2010 – Cahors Blues meets Africajarc

Bands and performers of all stripes and flavours woo the crowds with Jazz and Les Blues, playing a prominent part. Apart from a full programme downloadable here Cahors Blues Festival (10-17 July 2010 in Cahors on the Lot river) offers a Springboard for new Blues talents with the finals this year on Tuesday, July 13 and […]

Films Galore as Cannes Kicks Off

Films Galore as Cannes Kicks Off

The 63rd Festival opens despite earlier thundery skies and even a snow storm And they’re off — France’s most famous film feast is underway with all the usual drama and the added spice this year of unexpected poor weather. The Mediterranean coast was hit by unseasonal snow and rain just as the stars were gathering, […]

Santiago de Compostela – a Jubilee Year 2010

Santiago de Compostela – a Jubilee Year 2010

On the Pilgrim Route to Santiago de Compostela in a Jubilee Year Saint Pierre de Moissac an important halt on the pilgrim route to Santiago in Spain Moissac – At the Crossroads Ji Dahai a Chinese artist has decided to mark the 2010 jubilee pilgrimage to Santiago by making a 9000 km trip from his […]

Leftist Singing Star Dies

Leftist Singing Star Dies

Left wing French singer, songwriter, composer Jean Ferrat, 79, a life-long Communist Party sympathiser, died March 14 in his mountain village home of Aubenas, in the southern Ardèche.

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