Opera at the V & A, a powerful political tool

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is accustomed to surprising us with very imaginative exhibitions and I was very excited by my visit of « Opera, Passion and Power » conceived with the Royal Opera house. This new show is visited with head phones and could seem very didactic if it was not so cleverly designed.

Grétry’s, “Zémire et Azor” at Salle Cortot

There is a definite charm to Salle Cortot, a little concert hall designed by Auguste Perret in 1928, which belongs to Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, a private music school which trains 700 International musicians every year. At the gala for their benefactors, I had the chance to listen to a rarely performed opera by André Grétry, based on … Read More

“Miranda” by Purcell at Opéra Comique

I had sadly been to three funerals last week so I did not feel like sitting at yet another one at Opéra Comique, at the première of “Miranda”. The decor was fabulous and the voices singing Purcell could not have been more delightful, but facing a coffin and masked singers holding a gun for one hour and a half was … Read More

Maria Callas, celebrated everywhere

It’s been 40 years since she left us, and Maria Callas has remained in our hearts and on our minds ever since as the greatest opera voice and actress of the second half of the 20 th century. Yet I was surprised to have dinner with a young French diplomat last week who had never heard of her ! So the … Read More

Martigny, the center of artistic world, again

Cecilia Bartoli was singing at Fondation Pierre Gianadda for the 25 th time and Daniel Marchesseau was curating an exhibition there for the fifteenth time. The combination of Haendel sung by the diva with cellist Sol Gabetta and her brother’s baroque orchestra, Cappella Gabetta, with a hundred paintings and drawings by Paul Cézanne in the background, was a winner. Again … Read More

Henri de Turenne, a year later

When Henri de Turenne died last year on August 23, at 94, I was so sad, I could not write about him. His modesty, his elegance, his youthful mind and his fantastic sense of humor made him, till his last days, the most fun friend to visit and to listen to. I admired and respected  him enormously. A year later, … Read More

Steinway & Sons moves to Boulevard St Germain

Steinway & sons had not opened a new shop for 70 years since the London shop was inaugurated and it is therefore an amazing event that they chose the heart of Paris, on boulevard Saint Germain to open a beautiful show room with an auditorium. All pianos are made in Hamburg.

Morienval, Longpont, Royaumont, a holy week end

Ascension week end is traditionnally a four day holiday in France and this year, the temperature was the highest (in the 90’s) since it was first recorded in 1900. So everyone took advantage of the sunny days to wander in the country. And I drove around l’Oise, a department north of Paris, checking three different abbeys for you. What wonderful … Read More