Croissants, baguettes, ratatouille, berets and the Eiffel Tower. If that's what you think the French are all about, here's your chance to find out so much more!
The Voilah! French Festival is back again, and from April 15 to May 21, you'll be treated to a whole host of performances, exhibitions, films and gastronomical delights all with a French touch.
Kicking off the festival is A Singaporean in Paris, a brand new musical that's all about romance and laughter with plenty of song and dance. It's all about a Singaporean, played by Hossan Leong in Paris, who's trying to pursue his dream of performing in a cabaret. There are plenty of adventures and experiences along the way as he belts out well-known songs by international legends like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Barbara Streisand. A Singaporean in Paris also stars Emma Yong, George Chan, Leigh McDonald and Robin Goh.
Read all about our interview with Emma and Hossan here.
From the stage, Voilah! also moves onto the screens with plenty of French films on offer. There are seven prolific films screening as part of the Singapore International Film Festival: We Don't Care About the Music Anyway, Magma, Au Voleur (A Real Life), L'enfance D'icare (The Way Beyond), Barbe Bleue (Bluebeard), L'important C'est De Rester Vivant (Survive: In The Heart of the Khmer Rouge), La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet.
Not enough? There are five more films from the Cineclub at the Alliance Francais screening during this time - Paris 36, Comme Tout Le Monde (Mr Average), La Tete De Maman (In Mom's Head), Danes Les Cordes (On the Ropes), and the multi-directored film Paris Je T'aime (Paris I Love You), whose list of directors includes Joel and Ethan Coen, Wes Craven, Alexander Payne, Gus Van Sant, Alfonso Cuaron and Olivier Assayas amongst others. For those with a shorter attention span, take in a selection of 12 short films from the Very Short French Films, presented by the Very Short International Film Festival.
After all those films, you're bound to be a little hungry. For two weeks, please your inner Francophile's palate by indulging in the Gastronomy Promotions. Various chefs, restaurants and wine retailers have put together special menus to enjoy French food at its finest. From special set menus to trying the finest French wines and chocolates, all you need to do is head down to Hediard, Picotin, Gourmet Plus, Choupinette, Wine Connection, Heat Lounge at Royal Plaza on Scotts, Laurent Bernard, Le Benaton, Harbour Grill and Wines of Burgundy at Denise Wine Shops. It'll be the best France's best, ready to be savoured by you.
What’s a French experience without some music? From the hauntingly beautiful Corsican ensemble of Tempvs Fvgit singing centuries-old songs, chants and prayers, to young French rock music in the form of Izia (update: this event has been cancelled), there’s plenty for you to take in. If you’re more a classical fan, there’s also the Trio Con Fuoco playing a mix of Beethoven-Faure-Brahms and don’t miss Roger Muraro playing Chopin-Berlioz-Liszt.
Art and many others!
There’s a great garden inspiration that will spark your imagination called Invitation to Dream by Compagnie Carabosse that’s free for anyone to explore.
You can also fire up your scientific mind with the Optical Imaging: from Macro to Nano Scales conference with Professor A. Claude Boccara, or get your body moving with an exciting free football training session with local French football team, Etoile FC.
To round things off, there’s nothing like truly celebrating in style. The Gala dinner of the French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore will promise to be a breathtaking affair with live entertainment, the finest French cuisine and wines, just for you. With a theme of A Night in Versailles, it’ll be like you’re right there in France yourself!
The Voilah! French Festival runs from April 15 to May 21, at various locations.