Get your French fix at the Auburn Frenchfest next month 

Reading Time: 11 minutes

After an idea by Jean Marc Spiler and Steven Oppes of popular Adelaide band Les Flâneurs Volants, a local committee was formed which has worked hard to create a brand new French festival, the Auburn Frenchfest. The festival will take place this September in Auburn in South Australia’s beautiful Clare Valley.

Auburn Frenchfest

The inaugural Auburn Frenchfest has an impressive line-up of 29 events across art, market, food and wine, language, music, theatre, circus acrobatics, pétanque, workshops and even some French vintage cars on show!

 

ART AT AUBURN FRENCHFEST

 

Floral workshop

Begin the day with approximately 90 minutes of playing and creating with seasonal flowers to make a beautiful floral crown to wear! All materials, tools and tuition provided. This delightful relaxing workshop is scheduled to allow participants to joyously attend the Long Lunch adorned with their festive floral headpiece.

 

French Fusion – Linhay Gallery

An eclectic group of Artists both local and from further afield were invited to reflect upon the ways in which Auburn demonstrates similarities with country areas of France.

Some have visited France on holidays, others have travelled and studied at ‘French Art School’ with Jacqueline Coates, a well-known Kapunda artist. All have been inspired to create artwork that reflects their experiences in France or areas of Auburn that remind them of France.

 

This exhibition is open not only on the weekend of Auburn Frenchfest but also the two weekends that follow.

 

La Lumière. An Exhibition of Oil Paintings by Auburn Based Artist, Nona Burden

The French Impressionists were interested in conveying their experience of light, and its effect on the world around them.

 

Without light, we cannot experience the world visually. We cannot see forms or colour. Although not painted in an Impressionistic style, these works share similar concerns.

 

Auburn Frenchfest - impressionism

What is French Impressionist Painting? 

Nona Burden is an established artist with an extensive exhibition and teaching history. She is a former Lecturer in Painting at Adelaide Central School of Art, and now bases her art practice in Auburn .

 

In her talk, Nona will discuss the significance of the late 19th Century French Impressionism Art Movement within the history of painting. In its time it was considered to be extremely radical. How does it fit in today?

 

Auburn Frenchfest

Photographic Exhibition: Through the Lens

Be absorbed by the beauty of Auburn and surrounds as you get taken on a natural journey through photographs by Asha Zappone. French details come alive in the valley and the town of Auburn, and the vibes flow through this small bustling town. Whilst the sun reflects off the majestic vineyards, the birds sing, beautiful Auburn comes alive.

 

As you embark on your journey through the town, thirteen year old photographer Asha Zappone will take you on a tour of landscapes and wildlife ‘Through the Lens!’

 

The exhibition is free and will not be a ticketed event, however, entry limits may be applied due to COVID restrictions. This exhibition is open not only on the weekend of Auburn Frenchfest but also the two weekends that follow.

 

ARTIST TALK

A chat with Fiona McIntosh

Renowned local author, Fiona McIntosh will share with you her French inspirations for her novels.A dynamic and engaging speaker, come and be inspired to delve more into the world of writing.

 

Auburn FrenchfestAU MARCHÉ AT AUBURN FRENCHFEST

Auburn Frenchfest market

Meet local makers and browse local products such as wine, olives, oil, dukkha, soaps, body products, artworks, honey all whilst enjoying French cuisine to keep your belly full and listening to live French music by Trio Montagne to lighten the soul. Support them as they busk and add that carnival feeling to the main street of Auburn.

 

Then venture outside, to experience the Food trucks and other pop up stalls… enjoy your produce in the park, while watching the happenings in the Le Marquee or the performances by Circobats.

 

FOOD AT AUBURN FRENCHFEST

Wine and Cheese trail – Pick up your cheese hamper, at your leisure from a designated pick up spot (between 10am-2pm on Saturday or Sunday), and wander the village of Auburn, indulging in tasting wines, while enjoying your French cheeses and condiments.

Each hamper will feed 2 people.

Prices:

  • Cheese Hamper Only: $35
  • Cheese and Wine Trail [includes 2 x souvenir wine glasses and free tastings]: $55
  • Wine Glass Only [tasting conditions as per wineries]: $10/glass

Crepe making workshops – Learn how to make perfect French crepes in the Auburn Frenchfest workshops running both Saturday and Sunday of the festival.

 

Auburn Frenchfest

Long Lunch Finale

Say Au Revoir to the Auburn Frenchfest at Hillsview Estate with wonderful food in a country setting that will have you thinking you are in a small village in France.

 

Ticket will include a wonderful multi-course French inspired menu, a spot of entertainment and French music. Dietary requirements can be considered. Classic wines from Taylors Wines and Ulster Park Wines will be available for purchase.

 

LANGUAGE CLASSES

 

Fun French Class

Come and meet the team of Alliance Française of Adélaïde to learn the essentials of French as well as the do’s and don’ts for your future trips. Lessons run for 20 minutes.

Presenters: Sarah Zaglia and Arnaud Benassy

Interactive Swearing in French class

After sold out shows and five-star reviews at the Adelaide Fringe in Talk Dirty, Stay Classy, the irrepressible Arnaud Benassy is back! READ OUR REVIEW OF THE ADELAIDE FRINGE SHOW 2019 HERE

 

Come and join So French, So Naughty for a night of laughter as you learn ALL (well, most) of your favourite swear words in French. Shows are loud, rude, and hilariously fun. Produced by Sips and Giggles.

 

MUSIC AT AUBURN FRENCHFEST

Cabaret: Marseille que j’aime

A cabaret/café-théâtre performance based around the hugely successful 1930s plays of Marcel Pagnol and the complementary, contemporary operettas of Vincent Scotto/René Sarvil.

 

The characters of the Marseille waterfront come to life in this entertaining series of vignettes, extracts and songs performed by Panache, Adelaide French Theatre, Adelaide’s only French-language theatre group. To be performed in French with English subtitles.

 

Louise Blackwell workshop of French song of the 20th Century

Chante! Chante! Chante! workshop of French song of the 20th Century

Louise Blackwell leads this workshop looking at some classic French songs with a focus on their storytelling.

 

This will include a look at the songwriter and the background of their song in a period of social change, with a translation of the text and a jolly good singalong that will bring the poetry and images in the song to life. Featuring:

  • Le poinçonneur des Lilas by Serge Gainsbourg
  • La Bicyclette by Yves Montand
  • Chanson pour l’Auvergnat by Georges Brassens

 

Chantons ensemble – let’s sing together – singing workshop

This workshop will present well-known French children’s songs that relate stories- such as “Il était un Petit Navire”, “A la Claire Fontaine”.

 

There will be animated videos of the songs with the words, preceded by explanations in English. Printed versions of the songs will also be available. Many of the songs use repetition, making them easy to sing.

 

Auburn Frenchfest Coro Quarto

Coro Quarto: Il est bel et bon

Coro Quattro was formed in 2018 by a group of friends who like to share the joy of singing four-part harmony pieces. In the beautiful Our Lady of the Peace church, Coro Quattro will give a wonderful performance of French music singing mostly unaccompanied French music ranging from Renaissance madrigals (e.g. Ce moys de mai, Belle qui tiens ma vie) to the superb vocal quartets of Debussy and Saint-Saens through to modern and jazz standards (e.g. Autumn Leaves, Michelle).

 

La Grande Chorale

Noted Adelaide singing coach and choir leader Stella Panozzo will lead a community singalong at Aubrun Frenchfest. Stella has over 25 years’ experience as a teacher, singer, pianist and musical director. Many of her singing students now have professional careers as performers and teachers

 

Join in with a couple of best loved songs of French diva, Edith Piaf…La Vie en Rose and Non, je ne regrette rien.

 

A working knowledge of French or tonsorial splendour NOT required. Just come with your enthusiasm and perhaps a few dramatic arm flourishes and a fun time is guaranteed.

 

Stella has over 25 years’ experience as a teacher, singer, pianist and musical director. Many of her singing students now have professional careers as performers and teachers in various musical styles, including Musical Theatre, Opera, and Contemporary Commercial Music.

 

Auburn FrenchfestLe Grand Ensemble

A concert of French Classical composers performed by local musicians at Auburn Frenchfest.

 

Coordinated by Elder Conservatorium trained local musician Leonie Moore, Le Grande Ensemble consists of members of the woodwind section of the Nurioopta Town Band, joined by musicians from Balaklava and further afield, performing works by Debussy, Ravel, Faure, Bizet and Gounod.

 

The concert will feature local woodwind players, solo piano and harp, as well as a small family string ensemble, playing well-known and loved items by Classical French composers.

 

Les Flaneurs Volants – Le Best of

Drawing on material from the French diaspora and lifetimes immersed in French culture, Les Flâneurs Volants presents songs, stories and fun from around the French world.

 

Le Best Of! draws on the best of Les Flâneurs Volants’ sold out Fringe 20 & 21 shows. READ OUR REVIEW OF THE 2021 SHOW HERE – Featuring the love misadventures of their invented character Jacques and introduces new material that sees the band mashing English and French with riotous effect.

 

Les Gitans Blancs

Les Gitans Blancs will perform at The Marquee, showcasing french jazz of the 30s-50s, manouche Romany music and Eastern European traditional music.

Workshop: Introduction to the basic Manouche Swing / Gypsy Jazz

Manouche Swing or Gypsy Jazz is known to many through the music of early exponents. These include Django Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappelli and the Hot Club of France.The music style is evocative of Paris of the 30s-50s but continues to develop in Europe and beyond.

 

Les Gitans Blancs present this workshop which features demonstrations highlighting the basic elements that characterize the genre, such as la pompe and the distinctive melodies. The fascinating history and contemporary development of the phenomenon will be discussed.

 

Workshop: Laissez le bon temps rouler: music of the French diaspora

Laissez le bon temps rouler….let the good time roll, a term coined by the Cajuns, French speakers of Louisiana.

 

Along with their language the French settlers of the Americas and the Caribbean brought their instruments and music. Isolation from France and influences from settlers from other parts of the Europe saw the music develop its own distinctive character in the various regions settled.

 

Les Flâneurs Volants, French group and Auburn Frecnhfest organisers, present this workshop which will feature examples of the French music of Quebec, Cajun and Creole Louisiana and Guadeloupe. The journey of the French settlers and the development of the music will be discussed. Participants will also have the opportunity to join in with a singalong.

 

Louise Blackwell and the French Set - Auburn FrenchfestLouise Blackwell and the French Set: A Night in Paris

Louise Blackewell, a talented Adelaide singer is accompanied once again by her fabulous band comprising some of Adelaide’s finest musicians Mark Simeon Ferguson on piano, John Aué on double bass, Julian Ferraretto on violin and Josh Baldwin on drums.

 

Together they perform beautiful arrangements of a finely selected, ever-evolving repertoire of songs by French artists such as Léo Ferré, Georges Brassens, Jacques Brel, Barbara, Edith Piaf, Serge Gainsbourg, Jean Constantin, Juliette Gréco, Yves Montand and even Italian jazz-pop figure Paolo Conte, so beloved by the French and adopted into Parisian culture. READ OUR REVIEW OF THE 2021 FRINGE SHOW HERE.

 

Louise recreates an authentic Parisian vibe as she tells stories of this city where she lived and was once inhabited by legends of the cabaret. Louise aspires to take us there and recreate magical moments from this Parisian cultural legacy!

 

THEATRE & PERFORMANCE ART

 

Circobats - Auburn FrenchfestCircobats circus performance and workshop

An Adelaide-based circus, Circobats will be performing and delivering workshops as part of the Auburn Frenchfest. Fun for all ages, welcoming children and adults who want to learn, develop and enhance their skills in the circus arts.

 

Auburn Frenchfest - Encore! 500 Years of French TheatreEncore! 500 Years of French Theatre

A performance by Panache, Adelaide French Theatre, of excerpts from major French plays from the 17th to the 21st century.

 

The rich tradition of French theatre has never failed to please and delight audiences. They have chosen scenes memorable for their comedy and human interest to give a brief overview of the best French theatre has to offer. Excerpts from Molière, Beaumarchais (Le Mariage de Figaro), Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac), Ionesco (La Cantatrice Chauve) and J-M Ribes (Théâtre sans animaux). To be performed in French with English surtitles. READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH THE FOUNDERS OF PANACHE ABOUT ONE OF THEIR PREVIOUS PERFORMANCES HERE

 

Auburn FrenchfestOf Auburn

Of Auburn is a theatre production depicting the World War 1 experiences of women through personal diaries, poetry and song.

 

The dramatisation weaves the life and poetry of CJ Dennis together with the narration of Madge Yeatman, volunteer nurse in the Great War. Both Dennis and Yeatman started life in the gentle cradle that was Auburn in the Clare Valley in the later part of the 19th century.

 

The evocative wartime images of Frank Hurley and AW Savage together with powerful French songs express the anxieties, sorrows and hopes that women feel through war.

 

Music will be performed live by the fabulous Minnie Little Trio and feature some gorgeous French songs: Maman attend le Facteur, Le Soldat, Temps de Cerises, Gottingen and more as well as some original material.

 

See the play’s website here for more info: https://ofauburn.com and follow Of Auburn on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ofauburn

 

Auburn FrenchfestPuppet show:  Le Petit Chaperon Rouge/Les Trois Petits Cochons (Little Red Riding Hood/Three Pigs)

This free event is for the children, and those young at heart!

 

The cast of Panache, Adelaide French Theatre, will perform two marionette performances of the classic stories of Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs. Narrated in English, with dialogue in French, and plenty of audience interaction.

 

PÉTANQUE

Pétanque ‘Come and try‘

Come and try Pétanque as part of the Auburn Frenchfest!

 

VINTAGE FRENCH CARS

French car display

Visit the French Car Display on Saturday and be a part of All French Cars Day on the Sunday. The French Amil car turns 100!

 

The inaugural Auburn Frenchfest has an impressive line-up particularly for a 1st festival! Which activities are you interested in?

 

WHAT: Auburn French Festival

WHEN: 10-12 September 2021

WHERE: various locations in Auburn, Clare Valley, South Australia

MORE INFO AND TICKETS: https://www.clarevalley.com.au/whats-on/auburn-frenchfest/

PRICE: Depends on the individual performance or workshop. Many of the activities and performances are free but for COVID-19 monitoring reasons, you will need to register for a ticket.

 

 

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REVIEW: Van Gogh Alive in Adelaide

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Van Gogh Alive in Adelaide is its first showing in The Grand Pavilion, a purpose-built space, which will then tour Australia throughout the rest of 2021 and into 2022 (COVID permitting). Van Gogh Alive is an immersive digital art show where Van Gogh’s works are shown, not in full in a frame on walls in a gallery but in enlarged segments, on large video screens throughout the space.

Van Gogh Alive in Adelaide

The North Adelaide purpose-built space comprises 4 rooms. You enter via what I’ll call the entrance room, off which a replica of the tiny bedroom as shown in the painting Bedroom in Arles has been carefully constructed. This entrance room also houses a ticket booth, merchandise and in the other corner a café, which is a recreation of Van Gogh’s Café Terrace at Night, serving a daily changing menu of French dishes.

Also off the main entrance room is a small enchanting space called The Starry Night room, which brings Van Gogh’s Starry Night to life – the floor and ceiling have been painted with large scale parts of Starry Night and strings of fairy lights hang from the ceiling to the ground. Mirrored walls make the space seem far larger than it is and it was proving quite popular for selfies when we visited.

Van Gogh Alive in Adelaide - Starry night room

This is all a prelude to the main event in the SENSORY4™ Gallery– where a 90-minute video plays on loop taking you through not just Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous works but also moments of Vincent Van Gogh’s life. As your entry into this room isn’t timed from when you first present your ticket – it’s possible that you will enter part way through the video but it really doesn’t matter. We entered towards the end of the loop and stayed and watched it through to the end again.

The Van Gogh Alive in Adelaide experience recounts Van Gogh’s days from his Dutch period in his homeland The Netherlands right through to his days in the asylum in Saint Rémy. While Vincent had a very sad life, the experience itself is not depressing. This is largely because of the brightness of the artworks displayed throughout acting as a good contrast to the somewhat sad quotes displayed on the sidelines.

Van Gogh Alive in Adelaide

In our interview with Bruce Peterson of Grande Experiences, we asked Bruce “What made you choose Van Gogh as the subject?”. He answered it in the following way:

A couple of defining reasons, probably three.

First of all, we’re story tellers so whatever we do we need to be able to tell a story and to be able to educate people around that story. And Vincent has a slightly tragic story but a story to tell that we’re able to get across through the medium without spoken word.

Secondly, his artwork is really bright, colourful, big brush strokes, it lends itself to the medium we work in.

The third is his popularity, so it was going to be commercially successful, you know that’s the reality of things, we might be able to find good stories and great artwork but we might not have the brand or the subject matter that gets the visitors along.

In Van Gogh Alive in Adelaide, Vincent’s tragic story is told through quotes and significant moments of his life being signposted on side screens in the SENSORY4™ Gallery. The quotes relate to

  • his love of painting:“The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting

    I dream of painting and then I paint my dream”; and

  • his tormented mind and his relationship with alcohol – we all know he was a fan of the green fairy (one part of the experience makes you feel like you are inside a bottle of sparkling green absinthe) and it was said to have been a factor in him cutting off his ear:“If the storm within gets too loud, I take a glass too much to stun myself

    Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me”.

 

Seeing Van Gogh’s paintings on such a large exaggerated scale allows the viewer to appreciate the brush-strokes and the detail in the paintings which one may not otherwise have the chance to get close enough to. Van Gogh Alive in Adelaide brings his works to life with the addition of moving elements – for example his Almond Blossoms are seen with leaves falling, when Starry Night is on the video screens, the luminescent water moves and shimmers and a shooting star flies across the sky.

Van Gogh Alive in Adelaide

The projections weren’t just on the walls but also on large areas of the floors, which enabled children to get up close to the art. In one part, where a train track was projected onto the floor and the sound of a train puffing along was played, children jumped onto the projection and ran along the tracks as if they were chasing the train. It was a great way to see children get involved in art.

Van Gogh Alive in Adelaide

The paintings are projected to a varied score of classical artists, which brought another enticing immersive sensory element to Van Gogh Alive in Adelaide. Music/painting pairings include:

  • Carnival of the Animals VII Aquarium Jeff Megan to Starry night
  • Lakmee Act I: Flower Duet – Jeff Meegan, Julian Gallant played to accompany projections of Van Gogh’s correspondence.
  • Suite No. 1 for violoncello solo in G Major BMV 1007 I. Prelude – David Tobin, Jeff Meegan,
  • The Cherry Blossoms Toshiko Yonekawa to Almond Blossoms
  • Pizzicatto from Ballet “Sylvia” – the images change in time with the song
  • Gnossienne No. 1 – William Masselos

 

And once you leave the SENSORY4™ Gallery, you enter the sunflower room – a room filled with sunflowers all around with mirrored walls, and a sky painted ceiling to make you feel like you are in a French sunflower field. Another popular selfie spot.

Van Gogh Alive in Adelaide - Sunflower Room

Van Gogh Alive in Adelaide is the immersive experience we all need at the moment – escapism, a taste of something different, international art that we can’t travel to see and in a way we’re not likely to see it again, and photo-worthy images to share on the gram.

 

Van Gogh Alive in Adelaide runs until 22 August in The Grand Pavillion, on old Le Cornu site on O’Connell Street, North Adelaide

 

WHAT: Van Gogh Alive in Adelaide

WHERE: The Grand Pavillion, O’Connell Street, NORTH ADELAIDE

WHEN: Until 22 August

Hours: Monday – Thursday 10am to 9pm, Friday 10am to 10pm, Saturday 9am to 10pm; and Sunday 9am to 6pm.

HOW: https://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=VANDAIL

HOW MUCH: Adult $40, Children 2-12 years $25, Child 13-17 $32, Family of 2 adults and 2 children or of 1 adult and 3 children $115. Discounts are available for concession card holders, students and groups.

 

You can read our interview with Bruce Peterson of Grande Experiences here

 

For other events happening in your city and online, take a look at the August what’s on

 

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Van Gogh Alive in Adelaide