Festival of France: January-April 2004

The Festival of France will be a large-scale celebration of the impact of French arts on the world and a reaffirmation of the cultural and historic bonds between France and the United States. Traditional and contemporary works of dance, theater, music, and more will be showcased throughout the Center's theaters and performance spaces.

National Symphony Orchestra Theater and Opera
Lyon Opera Ballet Fortas Chamber Music Concerts Renée Fleming & Friends
Paris Jazz Le Petit Festival des Arts Millennium Stage Performances

Music Director Leonard Slatkin will conduct a series of concerts that will feature music by Ravel, Debussy, Fauré, Berlioz, Messiaen, Saint-Saëns, Milhaud, Ibert, Lalo, Poulenc, Satie, and Boulez. World-renowned soloists will include pianists Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Steven Blier, and Katia and Marielle Labèque, soprano Renée Fleming, and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham.
return to the top

Leonard Slatkin conducting, Nurit Bar-Josef, solo violin
Thurs., Jan. 15, 2004 at 7 p.m. & Fri, Jan. 16, 2004 at 1:30 p.m. &
Sat., Jan. 17, 2004 at 8 p.m
[more details]
Leonard Slatkin conducting, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano
Thurs., Jan. 22, 2004 at 7 p.m.
[more details]
Leonard Slatkin conducting, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano
Fri., Jan. 23, 2004 at 8 p.m.
[more details]
Leonard Slatkin conducting, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano
Sat., Jan. 24, 2004 at 8 p.m.
[more details]
Leonard Slatkin conducting, Katia and Marielle Labèque, pianos
Thurs., Jan. 29, 2004 at 7 p.m.
[more details]
Leonard Slatkin conducting, Renée Fleming, soprano
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
Fri. Jan. 30, 2004 at 7 p.m.
[more details]
Leonard Slatkin conducting, Renée Fleming, soprano
Sat. Jan. 31, 2004 at 8 p.m.
[more details]
[Opera Comique - feb 17-21 at 7:30 pm and Feb 21-22 at 2 pm]
Experience France's unique theatrical and operatic artistry—from high-kicking farce by Opéra Comique and two Baroque operas by Les Arts Florissants to intimate dramas, experimental adaptations, and lively cirque nouveau.
return to the top
Opéra Comique
La Vie Parisienne
France's famed company makes its U.S. debut with an electrifying production of Offenbach’s high-kicking operetta.
Feb. 17-22, Opera House
[more details]
Les Arts Florissants
La Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers and Les Arts Florissants
American conductor William Christie leads his celebrated French Baroque ensemble in two semi-staged one-act operas by Marc-Antoine Charpentier.
Feb. 3 at 8 p.m., Eisenhower Theater
[more details]
Théâtre de l'Atelier
Les Braises
Due to the sudden illness of actor Bernard Verley all performances have been cancelled. Patrons are encouraged to return their tickets to their point of purchase for a refund.

Ticket holders with questions may contact our Advance Sales Box Office at (202) 416-8540.
Théâtre de Lorient
La Bête dans la Jungle

Based on Henry James's short story "The Beast in the Jungle," this suspensful and engrossing psychological drama follows the life of a man consumed by fear.
Feb. 12-14, Eisenhower Theater
[more details]
Compagnie Hendrick van der Zee
Les Sublimes
The acclaimed performance company presents an intoxicating fusion of dance, drama, video, poetry, acrobatics, and circus art.
Feb. 19-21, Eisenhower Theater
[more details]
[Lyon Opera Ballet - April 8-10, 2004 at 8 pm]
Lyon Opera Ballet returns to the Eisenhower Theater with TRICODEX, a new work by Philippe Decouflé. Lyon Opera Ballet, led by Artistic Director Yorgos Loukos, grew out of the Lyon Opera in France to become one of the world's great contemporary dance repertory companies. Philippe Decouflé has made striking use of technology to create a new and mesmerizing form of theater that combines dance, mime, acrobatics, video and film.
return to the top
Lyon Opera Ballet, Yorgos Loukos, artistic director
Apr. 8-10, 2004 at 8 p.m.
[more details]
[Fortas Chamber Music Concerts]
Don't miss a comprehensive exploration of French chamber music, featuring some of the most notable French composers and interpreters of their works. The first concert will feature an all-Ravel program performed by the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, joined by soprano Dominique Labelle and flutist Tara Helen O'Connor. The second concert will feature pianist Christopher Taylor, playing Messiaen's Vingt regards sur l'enfant-Jésu. And the third concert brings four of France's leading musicians to the stage—brothers Renaud and Gauthier Capuçon, Frank Braley, and Paul Meyer—to perform works by Debussy and Messiaen.
return to the top
Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio
Wed., Feb. 4, 2004 at 7:30 p.m.
[more details]
Christopher Taylor, piano
Wed., Feb. 18, 2004 at 7:30 p.m.
[more details]
Renaud Capuçon, violin; Gauthier Capuçon, cello; Frank Braley, piano;
Paul Meyer,
Thur., Feb. 26, 2004 at 7:30 p.m.
[more details]
[Renee Fleming & Friends - Feb 3, 2004 at 7 pm]
The Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Series for Artistic Excellence allows us a unique, weeklong journey into French music with "America's soprano of choice" (The New York Times ), Renée Fleming. The third event in this annual series of extraordinary artistry comprises two appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra, a series of master classes, and a recital of French song in which Ms. Fleming will be joined by mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and pianist Steven Blier.
return to the top
Leonard Slatkin conducting, Renée Fleming, soprano
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
Fri. Jan. 30, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.
[more details]
Leonard Slatkin conducting, Renée Fleming, soprano
Sat. Jan. 31, 2004 at 8:00 p.m.
[more details]
Renée Fleming Master Classes
"The French Song" (Sun. Feb. 1, 2004 at 2:00 p.m.); "Gender Onstage"
(Sun. Feb. 1, 2004 at 6:30 p.m.); "French Role Preparation" (Mon. Feb. 2 at 5:30 p.m.)

[more details]
Renée Fleming and Susan Graham in "The Art of the French Song"
with Steven Blier, piano
Tue. Feb. 3, 2004 at 7 p.m.
[more details]
[Paris Jazz]
The intimate KC Jazz Club will feature the Moutin Reunion Quartet, one of Europe's finest jazz ensembles; the crystalline vocals and haunting piano of Charlotte Etc.; and Pat Philips and Ettore Stratta's Django Reinhardt Festival, celebrating the music of the late gypsy jazz guitarist. The Kennedy Center's larger venues will host the legendary Michel Legrand, who has won three Academy Awards® and five Grammy Awards®; Tony® and Grammy® winner Dee Dee Bridgewater in an evening of French songs; and Martial Solal, who "might be the greatest living European jazz pianist—and is at least the equal of any in the United States" ( The New York Times ).
return to the top
Moutin Reunion Quartet
Thur., Jan. 8, 2004 at 7:30 p.m.
[more details]
Django Reinhardt Festival
Thur. - Sat., Jan. 15 - 17, 2004 at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
[more details]
Charlotte Etc.
Wed., Jan. 14, 2004 at 7:30 p.m.
[more details]
The Music of Michel Legrand
Michel Legrand, piano; Patti Austin, vocals; KC All-Star Big Band, John Clayton, bassist and arranger

Sat., Jan. 31, 2004 at 7:30 p.m.
[more details]
Dee Dee Bridgewater, J'adore l'amour
Sat., Feb. 14, 2004 at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
[more details]
Martial Solal, piano
Thur., Mar. 4, 2004 at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
[more details]
[Le Petit Festival des Arts]
The Kennedy Center's Youth and Family Programs will present a series of programs throughout the Center as part of the Kennedy Center Festival of France.
return to the top

Can You Can Can?
One of France's most colorful signature art forms comes alive in this fun-filled history lesson told through exuberant dance, music, comedy, and daring circus acts.
March 5-7, 2004

[more details]
The Treasures of Dibouji
In this fanciful and poignant one-man show, Dibouji the magician introduces some of his favorite treasures to the audience, bringing together puppets, shadow play, inventive masks, narration, and music.
March 5-7, 2004
[more details]
Envelopes and Packages
This imaginative, wordless production combines actors and marionettes, an original musical score, and delightful sound effects that all take place on a stage that unfolds from the handlebars of an old bicycle!
March 5-7, 2004
[more details]
A Kennedy Center Production!
Valiant soldier...hopeless romantic...and the not-so-proud owner of an ENORMOUS nose. That's Cyrano de Bergerac, the swashbuckling hero who secretly loves the beautiful Roxane in this bittersweet tale of trickery and tomfoolery adapted from Edmond Rostand's original play.
March 19-April 4, 2004
[more details]
[Millennium Stage Performances]
Free performances every day at 6 p.m. on the Millennium Stage in the Kennedy Center's Grand Foyer - no tickets required!
The Kennedy Center has broadcast the Millennium Stage performances live on the web every night for almost three years.
View a list of upcoming Millennium Stage performances.

Most Americans, while familiar with the provinces of France when it comes to wine production and memorable cuisine, are less aware of these regions' contributions to folk music, dance and visual theater. The Millennium Stage, in cooperation with the Embassy of France, will present a series of free evening events devoted to this unique and charming area of French national culture.
return to the top

Showcase of French Regions: Cie Sylvie Guillermin
A contemporary dance group from Grenoble, combines circus acrobatics, climbing, and martial arts in its choreography.
Mon., Feb. 2 at 6 p.m.
Showcase of French Regions: Compagnie Duchâtelet
Compagnie Duchâtelet performs director Thomas Duchâtelet's creation “Pierre qui Brûle” (Burning Rock), inspired by his hometown of Arques, and exploring the landscape of the Nord Pas de Calais region.
Mon., Feb. 9 at 6 p.m.
Showcase of French Regions: Didier Squiban
Didier Squiban, pianist, arranger, and composer from Brest, combines traditional Breton music, jazz improvisation, and classical romanticism.
Tues., Feb. 10 at 6 p.m.
Showcase of French Regions: Orchestre d'Auvergne
Orchestre d'Auvergne, one of the most prestigious orchestras in Europe, performs its repertory of baroque, traditional, and contemporary music.
Thurs., Feb. 12 at 6 p.m.
Terrace Theater (free event but limited capacity)
Showcase of French Regions: Yann F. Kemener
Yann F. Kemener, a traditional singer from Bretagne, has recorded many solo albums and performs with both folk and jazz groups.
Mon., Feb. 16 at 6 p.m.
Showcase of French Regions: Taxi 2M
Taxi 2M, from Champagne Ardenne and created by the students and the teachers of the Institut International de la Marionnette , combines puppets, object theater, dance and movement.
Wed., Feb. 25 at 6 p.m.
Showcase of French Regions: Centre Chorégraphique National de Nantes
Centre Chorégraphique National de Nantes, under the direction of Claude Brumachon and Benjamin Lamarche, will present an original program of duets that tell the story of the human body.
Thurs., Feb. 26 at 6 p.m.
Showcase of French Regions: Duo Benzakoun
Duo Benzakoun, pianists Laurence Karsenti and Daniel Benzakoun of Centre, are professors with the Academy of Orleans and founders of the international training course for piano duet, “Four hands with Valençay.”
Sat., Feb. 28 at 6 p.m.
The Festival of France is held in cooperation with the Embassy of France with support from the Florence Gould Foundation, the Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, Association Francaise d'Actions Artistique, FedEx Corporation, HRH Foundation, Grand Marnier Foundation, and the French American Foundation.

International Programming at the Kennedy Center is supported through the generosity of The Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.