Opera and Orchestras in France

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One of my strongest wishes is to live where there is a cultural season that will make me happy. May be beyond my means, but I can at least try to be within reach of a good concert season. Have been researching and share my findings here. I’ve put together the list of links to make it easy to check out what sort of season is offered. Compiling these lists has brought to my attention what a special city Toulouse is for classical music events.

Opera houses and companies

Symphony orchestras and other classical ensembles

Amarillis Ensemble, while based in Angers, seems not to have a performing home but to present concerts around the country. Likewise, the very interesting ancient music group Ensemble Gilles Binchois, headquartered in Dijon and with a mailing address in Fleurey-sur-Ouche , performs in many regions.

  • Besançon: Orchestre des Régions Européennes has been reported online, but seems to have no upcoming concerts. Defunct?
  • Bordeaux: Ensemble Orchestral de Bordeaux has been reported permanently closed. Last activity seems to have been in 2017.

Paris: an embarrassment of riches

I can find 16 orchestras or classical ensembles in Paris, and all seem very active. No need to evaluate the attractions of Paris: all too obvious, in a city where real estate is ridiculously expensive. When going to Paris, best to just check the sites I mentioned in Finding and Booking Concerts, for the dates you will have available.

A few interesting choirs

As of course there are choirs at all churches, universities and conservatories, there is no use trying to be comprehensive. I have looked to find a few choirs that focus most on classical and sacred music, my preferences.

Arsys Bourgogne in Vézelay sounds very interesting but it seems they haven’t performed for several years, so I assume they have disbanded.

I welcome additions and corrections, and especially welcome comments on or evaluations of the groups here that you have heard in live performance. Please share in the comments section!

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