Futur: Matisse, Miro, Calder - In Marseille

Written by Laurence Bry. Posted in Tours & things to do

 

This exposition traces the links and influences between art, architecture, science, robotics, science fiction and astronomy since the beginning of the 20th century. Over a 100 pieces of art- including paintings, sculptures and photos- have been gathered from the most prestigious institutions worldwide to present the future as seen by modern artists. 

One of the best thing about seeing any exhibition at La Vieille Charité is that there are never any crowds. Unlike other museums or exhibition venues in Europe, visitors trickle in allowing people to really view the architecture and artwork at their own pace. The other advantage is that the site itself is truly remarkable. 

Construction began just behind the Major Cathedral in 1640 under Royal decree to house the poor and the sick – the name Vieille Charité means Old Charity.  It was not completed until the 1670’s when Marseille born painter and architect Pierre Puget took over the project. Several three story buildings with galleries overlook a central rectangular courtyard where a baroque style chapel with a dome roof stands. 

The site was also used as housing and an infirmary for colonial troops during both world wars. After WWII it housed over 140 families who had lost their homes during the fighting. During the 1960’s the site was completely abandoned after having briefly served as an anchovy canning facility and a basement warehouse for bananas shipped from Africa. After more than 25 years of restoration the site now houses several museums including the Mediterranean Museum of Archeology, Museum of African, Oceanian and Amerindian Art as well as hosting exceptional exhibits each year.

So if you miss the current exhibition think about visiting the site simply to admire the architecture. Matisse, Miro, Calder exhibit lasts until September 27, 2015. Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am – 6 pm.  Coffee, sandwiches and salads are available at the Café from 9am – 5 pm. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Les Chorégies d'Orange - Provence Opera Festival

Written by Laurence Bry. Posted in Tours & things to do

One of the many highlights of the classical music and opera festival that runs from July 7 - August 4, 2015 is Jonas Kaufmann interpreting the role of Don José in Bizet’s Carmen on July 8th.  Kauffman first performance at the Chorégies dates back to 2006 when he performed in the Mozart’s Requiem.

The Festival that dates back to 1869 takes place in the perfectly preserved Roman Theatre in Orange just north of Avignon. Although Provence has many vestiges from the Roman Era, the theatre in Orange is one of the most beautiful in France. The stage extends for 65 meters. The venue which can accommodate 9000 spectators provides exceptional acoustics thanks to the 37 meter high wall that is 1.80 metre thick. Leading lyrical artists continue to perform at the festival year after year. 

Full programme details of the oldest French lyrical festival: www.choregies.fr/en/news-43.html

 

July Lavender Harvest

Written by Laurence Bry. Posted in Tours & things to do

In July the lavender is harvested in Provence.  Before the lavender is picked, head up to the bright purple fields just north of Aix-en-Provence in Valensole. The name of the town and the plateau where the lavender grows comes from the Latin word vallis meaning valley and solis which means sun. The lavender in Valensole is usually harvested around July 14th depending on the year.

Other towns in Provence also celebrate the season with Lavender Festivals so if you are visiting the Luberon you can head to the town of Ferrassières where the festivities kick off on July 5th. Activities include guided walks through lavender fields and a visit to a distillery where the essential oil is extracted for the fragrance industry. www.fete-lavande.com/crbst_1.html

 

35th International Piano Festival

Written by Laurence Bry. Posted in Tours & things to do

La Roque d’Anthéron will host the 35th International Piano Festival, a world reference in piano recitals,  from July 24 - August 21, 2015 at the Parc du Château de Florans. The park is home to over 350 plane trees and hundred year old sequois as well as an outdoor stage that provides remarkable accoustics. In 2014 over 77,000 people attended the festival.

A dozen other venues in Provence that provide exceptional settings will host concerts during the Festival as well.  These include the Silvicane Abbaye, the Church of St. Jean de Malte in Aix-en-Provence, the Temple in Lourmarin and the Quarry in Rognes.

Young talent as well as leading musicians will be performing classical, contemporary and jazz. So if it's Daniel Matsuev or Chich Corea that you want to see live, have a look at the programme details on www.festival-piano.com

 

 

Hôtel de Caumont

Written by Laurence Bry. Posted in Tours & things to do

 

The Hôtel de Caumont Art Center opened its doors in Aix-en-Provence in May 2015 after 2 years of extensive renovations. The 18th century mansion in the heart of the Mazarin district had previously been the Darius Milhaud Conservatory, honoring the Marseille born classical music composer. 

 

Culturespaces, the cultural art management group that also oversees the exquisite Musée Jacquemart- André in Paris, the breath-taking expositions at the Carrières des Lumières in Les Baux and the Roman Theatre in Orange, has 2 expositions planned for the Hôtel de Caumont each year

 

Don’t miss the Canaletto exhibition that runs until September 13, 2015. Tickets available online at http://expo-canaletto.com/en

 

Follow up your visit with lunch at the Café Caumont either inside or in the sumptuous garden. The Café offers such an exceptional setting that private groups have been reserving the entire venue so do call or check online if there is a private function before making lunch plans.

Sketchcrawl in Aix

Written by Provence Confidential. Posted in Tours & things to do

Sketchcrawl in Aix

The 38th Worldwide Sketchcrawl kicks off in Aix en Provence on Saturday January 19th at 10:30 am from the Bibliotechque Mejanes. For anyone unfamiliar with the concept you meet up with other participating artists (of all ages - kids welcome) at the starting point armed with a sketchpad and pens and record what you see as you wander through Aix en Provence for the day.

Marseille 2013

Written by Provence Confidential. Posted in Tours & things to do

Marseille 2013

Marseille Provence is the European Capital of Culture in 2013.  One of the highlights of the year is the art exhibition called "Le Grand Atelier du Midi" from Cezanne to Matisse at the Musee Granet in Aix en Provence from June 13 to October 13. Simultaneously the Musée des Beaux Arts- Palais Longchamps in Marseille will be hosting from Van Gogh to Bonnard.

Marché de Noël

Written by Provence Confidential. Posted in Tours & things to do

Marché de Noël

With Val Joanis and Chateau Estoublon downsizing their famous Christmas Markets, the opportunity was wide open for another vineyard to step in. Corinne & Emmanuel Gensollen, who recently purchased Le Domaine de Brillane www.labrillane.com from Rupert Burch, have scheduled a Christmas Market featuring regional delicacies on December 4th, 2011.

Ritz Escoffier School Paris

Written by Provence Confidential. Posted in Tours & things to do

Ritz Escoffier School Paris

Auguste Escoffier, who served as the first Executive Chef of the Ritz in Paris said "good cooking is the foundation of true happiness". So after having tried out dozen of cooking classes in Provence I thought it was time I gave the Ecole Ritz Escoffier, the reference in French culinary arts, a try.

Food & Art

Written by Provence Confidential. Posted in Tours & things to do

Food & Art

Three Star Michelin chef, Alain Passard of l’Arpège in Paris has published « Collage & Recettes » which is an illustrated cookbook of 48 recipes featuring his own collage work. The collages were recently on exhibit in Cassis where Mr. Passard spent a long weekend as the guest of honour at the grape harvest festival.

Gladiator Games

Written by Provence Confidential. Posted in Tours & things to do

Gladiator Games

This UNESCO world heritage site in Orange will be holding Gladiator Games on Saturday September 10, 2011 from noon until 4:30 pm in the Antique Theatre. Unlike the TV show on NBC these Gladiators will be wearing traditional armor like those worn during the Roman Empire.

Art Exhibit

Written by Provence Confidential. Posted in Tours & things to do

Art Exhibit

Montreal artist Margot McPherson who now resides in Roussillon, overlooking the ocre cliffs, will have her "Invasions Barbares" collection on exhibit at the Chateau in Gordes from August 27th through September 2nd.