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
Lord Llewellyn, British ambassador to France, seemed very happy during the reception he gave at his residence of Faubourg Saint Honoré, to celebrate Scotland as the official guest of Festival Interceltique de Lorient, the largest Celt celebration in the world, which takes place every year at the beginnning of August, in Brittany.
The reviews were so horrendous that I almost did not show up for the performance of Colm Toibin’s play “The Testament of Mary” at théâtre de l’Odéon. But I am a complete fan of British director Deborah Warner and was curious to see (on stage) Comédie française actress Dominique Blanc. The theme, Mary’s vision of her son Jesus Christ’s passion … Read More
There were many reasons to be excited to see « Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria », one of only three operas composed by Claudio Monteverdi ( in Venice in 1640) at Théâtre des Champs Elysées. The director, Mariame Clément, is steadily climbing in the aeropagus of International opera directors and she did not disappoint us. Mexican tenor Rolando Villazon was … Read More
The first Opéra Comique production, after a few years of closing down, Fantasio, was much anticipated and my fears of Thomas Jolly’s direction were somewhat calmed down by the fabulous interpretation of Marianne Crebassa, a French mezzo soprano whose Spanish grandfather used to sing while picking grapes near Béziers.
It was a fun occasion to discover the last works of restoration at Opéra Comique (which is reopening at the end of April) while tasting the raspberry love cake called « Favart » after the theatre’s founder’s name. Created by Le Nôtre to celebrate Valentine’s day and the new production of “Fantasio” by Offenbach, the cake will be served with … Read More
Olivier Mantei is a genius at communication and during the eighteen months renovation of Opéra Comique which he runs, he managed to keep his subscribers on alert all the time. His training with Accents and Laurence Equilbey and as an independent agent, with Peter Brook at Bouffes du Nord and as a music teacher in Morocco when he was young, … Read More