Vive La France! Adelaide French Festival begins today

Posted by Adelaide Festival Centre on Friday 12 January 2018

Adelaide Festival Centre’s inaugural Adelaide French Festival begins today in a three-day celebration of all things French including food, wine, fashion, music, theatre, film, fine arts and much more.

The festival’s significance was certified at 11am today in the Dunstan Playhouse foyer, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Adelaide Festival Centre and the Cultural Office of the Embassy of France in Australia.

The MoU marks the mutual respect and cooperation between both parties and their intention for future collaboration. It will be signed by Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director, Douglas Gautier, and the Head of Culture at the French Embassy in Canberra, Bertrand Pous.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier says: “Adelaide Festival Centre and our newly opened northern promenade are the perfect place to mark the great respect and cooperation between the French Embassy, Adelaide’s French cultural sector, and Adelaide Festival Centre, and to present the first Adelaide French Festival. We are very grateful for the support and advice that the Embassy has offered us developing this festival and we look forward to continuing to work together. French culture has provided, and continues to provide, a rich creative source for us all, and we look forward to welcoming audiences here for this.”

Premier and Minister for Arts Jay Weatherill says: ‘’French creativity has shaped the modern world and the connection between South Australia and France is exceptionally strong at the moment: economically through the agreement to build the next generation of Australian Defence Force submarines in Adelaide, culturally with the incoming Impressionist exhibition from the Musée d’Orsay, and via the exquisite French bistros and bars that continue to flourish in our city.

“The Memorandum of Understanding between Adelaide Festival Centre and the Cultural Office of the Embassy of France in Australia will foster further positive relationships harnessing the extensive artistic knowledge possessed by both establishments.’’

The festivities begin tonight at Pinky Flat with So Frenchy So Chic in the Park where a number of the hottest acts in French contemporary music will perform including Féfé, Juniore, General Elektriks and L.E.J. 

Musical treats on offer include Songs and Stories of the Paris Lido with Caroline Nin and Adelaide's own Michaela Burger’s tribute to Edith Piaf. Two of the most famous French classical composers will feature with a recital of some of the works of Claude Debussy in an Australian exclusive by internationally acclaimed pianist Frédéric Vaysse-Knitter, while Australia’s Seraphim Trio present chamber works by Maurice Ravel including his Piano Trio.

French afro pop act Frànçois & the Atlas Mountains play an Adelaide exclusive while Adelaide’s Zephyr Quartet will recount the story of French explorer Nicolas Baudin through music and  The Baker Suite will perform Parisian jazz on the Popeye in Floating Melodies.

In a one-off event curated by Nexus Arts, A Trip To The Moon, a screening of the short film created in 1902 by French illusionist and filmmaker George Méliès, accompanied by original live soundtracks composed and performed by leading Adelaide musicians.

In an extraordinary night to remember, Adelaide Festival Centre's Banquet Room will transform into a French salon for an evening of contemporary art, seductive entertainment and French cuisine. La Soirée Cliché is a special gastronomic event hosted by SBS Food Safari’s Maeve O’Meara.

Paris will be celebrated in two beautiful exhibitions: Paul Vasileff’s Paolo Sebastian: A Journey to Paris, and the Australian premiere of the award-winning French photographer Michel Setboun’s intimate urban scenes in Paris Dark Light.

Leading Adelaide couture designers Greta Kate, Calèche, Varacalli, Eliza French, couture+love+madness, Jaimie Sortino and Sylvy Earl will showcase their original creations and latest collections with Couture Collection, a vibrant showpiece of South Australia’s flair and ingenuity.

Adelaide Festival Centre’s Associate Director of Programming Rebecca Pearce says: “We’re thrilled to present some of the very best artists from France and celebrate all things French this weekend. The first Adelaide French Festival is an eclectic program offering something for all tastes and ages. From full on Francophiles to those just discovering all that French culture has to offer, this festival has something for everyone with many free events and workshops, great French music, food and wine, so come and immerse yourself in this incredible French feast.”

The weekend’s events include masterclasses in French perfume, champagne, cheese and pâtisserie techniques as well as free yoga on the Riverbank lawns and free music from live bands, DJs and roving performers on Adelaide Festival Centre’s Riverdeck. 

French fun for the kids includes a Junior Sous Chef Workshop, art and language classes and the beautiful production of There is a Rabbit in the Moon from French theatre company Vélo Théâtre.

There is also a family French film program at Mercury Cinema, A French Weekend at Carrick Hill, and tours of the unique collection of French Art and Napoleonic items at the David Roche Foundation House Museum.

Adelaide Festival Centre’s French Festival runs from 12 – 14 January.

For full program details including co-presenters visit us online.

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For all media inquiries contact:
Genevieve Meegan 08 8216 8515 / 0414 558 078
Sophie Gardner 08 8216 8796 /0402 593 672