What’s on ?
Discover our French cultural program!
Romances Inciertos, un autre Orlando by Nino Laisné and François Chaignaud
21 to 26 January 2020, Sydney Festival, Carriageworks
Choreographer-dancer-singer François Chaignaud and four period-instrument musicians slice through Spanish history from the Golden Age to the 21st century, in a joyously theatrical blend of Baroque music, cabaret, flamenco, and gender play.
Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, the Elizabethan courtier who undergoes a mysterious change of sex and lives for over 300 years, Chaignaud’s “opera-ballet” is a love letter to centuries of Spanish culture and an odyssey of a shape-shifting body that slices through the centuries.
More information: https://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/events/romances-inciertos
Two Crews by Nick Power, Riddim Nation and Lady Rocks
8 to 12 January 2020, Sydney Festival, Carriageworks
10 to 14 March 2020, Adelaide Festival
Contemporary dance innovator Nick Power’s brand-new collaboration brings together two leading dance crews for an exhilarating immersion in global hip hop dance culture.
Each crew is unique, but both find power, expression and camaraderie in the ever-evolving global language of hip hop dance.
À Ố LANG PHÔ, Vietnamese Bamboo Circus, by Tuân Lê
27 to 29 February 2020, Arts Center Melbourne
Few works can claim to have pioneered a new art form, but À Ố Làng Phố has left audiences the world over enthralled by the extraordinary possibilities conjured when bamboo and circus meet.
’Bamboo circus’ is a style of performance unlike anything witnessed before: just as bamboo bends without breaking, so too do the astonishing acrobats at the centre of this work perform dizzying feats of strength and agility, all the while sharing the stage with a constantly shifting set constructed entirely from the familiar wood.
Trois Grandes fugues, Lyon Opera Ballet
6 to 7 March 2020, Adelaide Festival
The work of three women, all seminal figures in contemporary dance, converges on a single piece of music in this unique program that has wowed critics and audiences worldwide.
Over the years each has taken on the same fearsome musical challenge: The Great Fugue for strings- that enigmatic and ever-confronting masterwork by Beethoven, which Glenn Gould dubbed “the most astonishing piece in musical literature”. Here, their interpretations are performed back to back by the Lyon Opera Ballet with stunning virtuosity.
The Giant Puppets by Compagny Archibald Caramantran
6 to 9 March 2020, WOMADelaide
This year WOMADelaide has invited the French Company Archibald Caramantran, thanks to the support of the Embassy of France in Australia.
This street theatre company is dedicated to itinerant, dreamlike performances, where they invite audiences to interact with their delightful four-metre high articulated puppets. Le Caramantran is a collective of carnival artists – stilt walkers, musicians, comedians, puppeteers, constructors and sculptors – moved by the desire to surprise and unearth the poetry in everyday life.
More information: https://www.womadelaide.com.au/artists/company-archibald-caramantran
Fire Gardens presented by Compagnie Carabosse
12 to 15 March 2020, Adelaide Festival
French artistic collective Compagnie Carabosse are renowned for their spellbinding illuminations of public sites all over the world, from Stonehenge in England to Moscow’s Kremlin Square, from Hue Bridge in Vietnam to Pont du Gard in the south of France. For the last 20 years, Compagnie Carabosse has transformed these extraordinary landscapes into mesmerising wonderlands of firelight, kinetic sculptures and live music. Over four magical nights the city’s Botanic Garden, already a charmed space once the sun has set, will become a dreamspace of mystery and revelation fashioned from thousands of individual flames.
Saïgon by Caroline Guiela Nguyen and Les Hommes Approximatifs
12 to 15 March 2020, Arts Centre Melbourne
When director Caroline Guiela Nguyen’s SAIGON premiered at Avignon Festival in 2017, the deeply moving family saga of exile and longing quickly became the hottest ticket at the world’s largest theatre festival.
Staged in a restaurant, the story swings between Saigon in 1956, as French colonialists leave Vietnam, and Paris in 1996, when Vietnamese exiles started returning to their homeland. It is a searing and evocative portrait of lives uprooted and homes remade, with a cast of 11 characters whose paths trace lines across history and space.
This bittersweet tale of love, loss and reunion is exclusive to Asia TOPA Festival.
Performed in French and Vietnamese with English surtitles.
Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
back in October, Sydney Lyric, Sydney
Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) combines dance, aerial acrobatics, and new technologies to create a dreamlike and poetic universe that is almost impossible to describe.
Nearly 75 years after its release, The Little Prince remains the second most translated and one of the best-selling books in the world, and its sentiment remains as pertinent today as when it was first written:
“What is essential is invisible to the eye, It is only with the heart that one can truly see”
This contemporary adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s work is produced by Broadway Entertainment Group and Sokol Entertainment and is directed by Anne Tournié.
Choreography and Direction: Anne Tournié
Adaptation and Co-direction: Chris Mouron
Music Terry Truck based on the original book of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Editions Gallimard 1945.
Paris Opera Ballet
1 to 19 July 2020, QPAC International Series 2020, Brisbane
The prestigious company is at the peak of its powers in the heartbreaking tale of impossible love in Rudolf Nureyev’s Swan Lake. The season starts in spectacular style with a one-night-only Opening Gala of classical and contemporary works from the Paris Opera Ballet repertoire, and a spine-tingling program of contemporary works set to some of the most beautiful music ever written for ballet rounds out the 2020 QPAC International Series. Paris Opera Ballet will perform Parisienne Soirée, featuring unanimously acclaimed contemporary works by William Forsythe, Jerome Robbins and Crystal Pite to showcase the company’s dancing depth and introduce a new swathe of dance superstars for their Australian debuts.
Eden Residency Project by Olga Kisseleva and Form Dance Compagny
December 2020 to January 2021, Bundanon Trust and Parramanta, NSW
Parramatta-based dance company FORM partners with the French Embassy and Bundanon Trust to initiate a residency at Bundanon in December 2020/January 2021 with Paris-based Russian artist Olga Kisseleva and Australian artistic collaborators, including choreographers/dancers.
Olga is specifically interested in fostering communication between the threatened Australian Wollemi Pine species (found in the Wollemi Natural Park in North Western Sydney) and a species of resilient tree found in France.
31st Alliance Française French Film Festival
10 March to 16 April 2020, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Adélaïde, Perth, Hobart, Parramatta and Avoca Beach
Following the historical success of the 30th edition which gathered more than 195,000 viewers, the program features 49 films from prodigies (Ladj Ly, Justine Triet, Grand Corps Malade, Quentin Dupieux, Bertrand Bonnello, Rebecca Zlotowski…) alongside those who inspired them (Jacques Demy, André Téchiné, Arnaud Desplechin…).
Importantly, the line-up always takes into account all genres, tastes and ideas in order to ensure there is something for everyone, from the most loyal returning patrons to the youngest of spectators.
The Festival is organized by the Alliance Française network in Australia, in partnership with the French Embassy, Palace cinemas, distributing partners and with the support of Unifrance.
Cédric Tiberghien in Recital
14 September, City Recital Hall, Sydney
This recital is a variation on the theme of Beethoven devised by the brilliant French pianist Cédric Tiberghien. His refinement of sound and searching intelligence equip him for the mercurial beauty of this music.
Mozart on screen; The Magic Flute, Cosi Fan Tutte, Don Giovanni
February 2020, Alliances Françaises de Melbourne and Adelaide
2020 is first ever year we will see a co-production between the Festival d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence and the Adelaide Festival. This is an opportunity for audiences of the Alliances Françaises d’Australie to experience three of the most beautiful productions by the prestigious Aix-en-Provence festival on the big screen, free of charge.
Requiem, W.A.Mozart directed by Romeo Castellucci
28 February to 4 March 2020, Adelaide Festival
The 2020 Adelaide Festival opera centerpiece is Requiem. The fresh staging of Mozart’s musical masterwork is the first production born from the partnership between Adelaide Festival and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. Pioneering international stage director Romeo Castellucci has utterly transformed the funeral mass into what Le Figaro described as “quite simply a great moment of poetry”.
This production features the original Aix-en-Provence cast of internationally acclaimed soloists - Sara Mingardo (alto), Martin Mitterrutzner (tenor), Luca Tittoto (bass), alongside Australia’s rising global star Siobhan Stagg (soprano). Together with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra led by Rory Macdonald, a chorus of 36 including Adelaide Chamber Singers and dancers from Adelaide’s own Australian Dance Theatre, they create a deeply moving ritual of life and death, extinction and the possibility of rebirth.
Laura Clauzel and Ayana Fuentes Uno in residency Hill End
18 April 2020, Hill End - Royal Hall, NSW
For the third time an artist residency is jointly organized by BRAG (Bathurst Regional Art Gallery) and the Embassy of France in Australia in Hill End in Central New South Wales, in the framework of the FAR Residency program of the Embassy. The End Festival is a unique program of arts, culture and heritage which will celebrate its 5th anniversary in April 2020. Laura Clauzel and Ayana Funtes Uno’s careers have been focused on synchronizing and commingling the many aspects in artistic forms, which lead them to collaborate with cineasts, french writers, stage directors and musicians.
La Finta Giardiniera by Wolfgand Amadeaus Mozart and Les Arts Florissants
15 May 2020 at Adelaide Festival Centre and 13 May 2020 at Melbourne Recital Centre
State Opera is proud to present the world’s pre-eminent Baroque ensemble, Les Arts Florissants, in Adelaide for the first time in over 25 years.
As part of their 40th anniversary celebrations and world tour, Les Arts Florissants presents Mozart’s opera La Finta Giardiniera, featuring the 2019 artists of le Jardin des Voix.
Conductor - Paul Agnew
Director - Sophie Daneman
Sandrina - Mariasole Mainini
Serpetta - Lauren Lodge Campbell
Arminda - Deborah Cachet
Ramino - Théo Imart
Il contino Belfiore - Moritz Kallenberg
Il Podestà - Rory Carver
Nardo - Sreten Manojlovic
Les talents lyriques and Siobhan Stagg
November 2020, Australian tour
The extraordinary French baroque ensemble Les Talens Lyriques pairs with Australian soprano Siobhan Stagg in a program fit for 18th-century royalty, presented by Musica Viva.
Les Talens Lyriques and Siobhan Stagg will embark on a national tour with Musica Viva in November 2020: Adelaide (19 Nov), Brisbane (12 Nov), Canberra (25 Nov), Melbourne (10 Nov, 21 Nov), Perth (23 Nov), Sydney (7 Nov, 16 Nov)
La Juive, Fromental Halévy directed by Olivier Py
14 July to 7 August 2020, Sydney Opera House
Director Olivier Py’s production of Halévy’s epic opera La Juive is a moving look at love and persecution. Set in 1930s France with elegant, monochromatic costumes, the production offers glimpses of the Holocaust to come. Impressive rotating sets fill the stage with a dark grandeur.
“Enfantillage” by Aldebert
26 April 2020, Memo Music Hall, St Kilda, VIC
With songs for the whole family, the "Enfantillages" (childishness) project, was created in 2008 by Aldebert. Over the past ten years or so, " Enfantillages " has attracted an ever-growing number of fans, both in album sales (600,000 copies sold) and through touring (1,000,000 tickets sold).
After three albums and two special editions (Christmas Childishness and 10 Years of Childishness), Aldebert is committed to recording a fourth album this year, due for release in spring 2021.
The Melbourne concert is organised in partnership with the Alliance Française de Melbourne, Caulfield Junior College and L’Ecole Française de Melbourne.
Matisse & Picasso
13 December 2019 to 13 April 2020, National Gallery of Australia, ACT
Matisse & Picasso is the first exhibition in Australia to tell the story of the artistic relationship between two of Europe’s greatest twentieth-century artists.
This exhibition brings together masterpieces from collections across the world and includes paintings that will be on display in Australia for the first time.
Featuring more than 60 paintings and sculptures drawn from prestigious public and private collections internationally and in Australia, the exhibition also includes examples of the Gallery’s rich holdings of drawings, prints, illustrated books and costumes by Matisse and Picasso.
Matisse & Picasso is exclusive to the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.
22nd Biennale of Sydney
14 March to 8 June 2020, Sydney
The 22nd Biennale of Sydney is an artist-and First Nation-led endeavour that will bring together artists, makers, scientists, academics and thinkers from around the world. They will deliver artworks, insights, ideas and projects that challenge dominant narratives, share Indigenous knowledge, displace conventional notions of the centre and reimagine the role of the arts institution.
Seven artists born, living and working in France have been invited to participate in the 22nd Biennale of Sydney in 2020, titled NIRIN. They are: Joël Andrianomearisoa, Tarek Atoui, Mohamed Bourouissa, Josep Grau-Garriga, Tarek Lakhrissi, Laure Prouvost and Lily Hibberd.
12 March to 5 April 2020, Dominik Mersch Gallery, Sydney
In collaboration with the Embassy of France in Australia, Dominik Mersch Gallery is proud to host an exhibition of works by internationally-acclaimed artist and filmmaker Clément Cogitore.
He combines film, video, installations and photographs to question how society coexists with its own images and representations.
In 2018, Clément Cogitore was awarded the prestigious Marcel Duchamp Prize for Contemporary Art. To celebrate its 350th anniversary, the Opéra National de Paris has entrusted Cogitore with staging the entirety of Jean-Baptiste Rameau’s opera ballet, Les Indes galantes.
More information: https://www.dominikmerschgallery.com/artist/clement-cogitore/
Camille Henrot; Rage for order
22 May to 4 October 2020, NGV International, Melbourne
Camille Henrot: Rage for Order will feature the immersive room-scale installation The pale fox 2014, a companion piece to Henrot’s prize-winning film Grosse fatigue 2013, for which she won the Silver Lion at the 55th Venice Biennale. Drawing on research Henrot undertook during a fellowship at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC in 2013, the installation features over 400 objects – many of them purchased via eBay – exploring the collective human yearning to make sense of our environment.
“From her early beginnings in animation, photography, and music video, Camille Henrot has gone on to become one of the world’s most thoughtful contemporary artists”, said Tony Ellwood AM, Director, National Gallery of Victoria.
More information: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/exhibition/camille-henrot/
5 June to 4 October 2020, NGV International, Melbourne
The Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series at the National Gallery of Victoria will unveil Pierre Bonnard, an exclusive world-premiere exhibition developed in partnership with Paris’s Musée d’Orsay.
With loans drawn from the Musée d’Orsay’s impressive collection of Bonnard’s work, along with significant loans from other museums in France, the exhibition will also include key works from Tate, London; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Art Institute of Chicago. These will join works from Australian public collections, including the NGV’s own important early Bonnard painting, La Sieste (Siesta), 1900.
“This collaboration with the NGV is an opportunity for us to reinforce the cultural legacy of a remarkable French artist and the incredible riches that are contained within the Musée d’Orsay Collection”, said Laurence des Cars, Director, Musée d’Orsay.
More information: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/exhibition/pierre-bonnard/
Antoine + Manuel: Video installation
19 to 20 June 2020, Saint Kilda, Melbourne
The grand dame of Alliances Françaises in Australia, the Alliance Française de Melbourne, is celebrating its 130th birthday this year, and such a milestone calls for lights and music. For two exceptional nights, the Eildon Mansion at 51 Grey Street will be entrusted to two artists, Antoine+Manuel who will adapt their spectacular video installation entitle Animal onto the façade of the mansion, built in 1850, only 20 years after the city of Melbourne was founded.
More information : http://www.antoineetmanuel.com/
Thu-Van Tran in residency: MUMA Far Residency
7 to 22 August 2020, Monash University museum of art, Melbourne
In 2018, the Embassy of France, Australia and Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) established a partnership to bring French artists to live and work in the heart of the art, design, architecture and gallery precinct of Monash University in Melbourne. Now in its third year, we are very pleased to welcome Thu-Van Tran in 2020 who was nominated for the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2018.
Tran will utilise the French Artist Residency—Melbourne-Australia for new material explorations, as well as taking the opportunity to meet with curators and gallery directors here. She will present a public lecture on her work and run a master class with Monash post-graduate art students.
ACCA International 2020: Laure Prouvost
19 September to 22 November 2020, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne
In 2020, ACCA is delighted to be presenting the first Australian solo exhibition of internationally acclaimed French artist Laure Prouvost.
For her exhibition at ACCA, Prouvost will transform the imposing architecture of the exhibition space into a labyrinthine and other-worldly installation. At the centre of this rich assortment of architectural interventions, found objects, furniture, sculptures, signs and drawings, will be a new commission produced especially for the exhibition.
More information: https://acca.melbourne/series/art-club-2020/
23 September 2020 to 2 Auguste 2021, MONA, Hobart, Tasmanie
In his first Australian solo exhibition, internationally acclaimed French artist Jean-Luc Moulène will create sculptural works for Mona, highlighting wood from primeval Tasmanian forests buried underwater (HydroWood), ancient sedimentary stone, metal from the earth’s crust, and wax from everywhere.
More information : https://mona.net.au/museum
Paul Rousteau: Seascapes
December 2020 to February 2021, Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney
French artist Paul Rousteau’s abstracted landscapes of optical illusions, chromatic aberrations and meteorological mirages evoke the infinite array of shapes and colours – created by the meeting of air, water and light.
Invited by the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Embassy of France, Rousteau undertook a residency aboard HMB Endeavour on a voyage from Sydney to Noumea in 2019. The photographs he took during this voyage will be displayed in this illuminating exhibition at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.
More information: https://www.sea.museum/whats-on/exhibitions/seascapes
Matisse: Life and Spirit
November 2020 to March 2021, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Featuring over 100 works spanning six decades “Matisse: life & spirit, masterpieces from the Centre Pompidou, Paris” will be the greatest single exhibition of Matisse masterworks ever to be seen in Sydney. This unique exhibition will offer an extraordinary immersion in the range and depth of the art of Henri Matisse.
The exhibition reveals how Matisse renewed his vision time and again across his long career, seeking new ways of celebrating the seen world and expressing the energy he felt in it.
More information : https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/matisse/
SCCI Fashion and Architecture Hubs
March and October 2020, Sydney
The Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas (SCCI) is a Hub series fashioned as the newest evolution of the re-named Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF, 2008-2017). SCCI returns in 2020 with new programming for the Fashion Hub (19-28 March) and Architecture Hub (October 2020).
Through bi-annual programs, SCCI seeks to elevate the conversation around fashion and architecture to prominence alongside other forms of cultural expression.
Each ten-day festival brings 50 renowned local and international speakers from the Architecture and fashion fields. Each program features more than 30 themed events, from keynote talks to panel discussions, film screenings, tours and workshops.
More information: https://www.scci.org.au/