Cover Photo: La Fontaine in Music

The annual festival is running by a theme of catharsis and hopefulness this year with an array of events that range from musical performances to exhibitions to food tastings to film programmes

This year, the Embassy of France in Singapore is celebrating the enduring ties between France and Singapore by bringing you on a month-long immersive journey around France and French culture with a line-up that includes over 50 programmes focusing on culture, education, science and lifestyle—thanks to the support of over 120 French and local partners. 

Taking place from November 3 to December 10, the festival is themed a ‘Feel Good Edition’ and it will highlight the excellence, diversity and innovation that characterise France and Singapore’s bilateral partnership, while also celebrating the spirit of joy and hope.

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With a renewed commitment to sustainability, this year’s festival also aims to be the first carbon-neutral festival in Singapore.

“The 2021 edition of Voilah France Singapore Festival will see a return to in-person events for most of our programmes thanks to the “Covid Resilience” strategy in Singapore and the implementation of the Vaccinated Travel Lane between our two countries. The festival highlights again the excellence, diversity, and innovation that characterise France and Singapore’s bilateral relationship, whilst supporting more than ever the local cultural scene. We are also proud that this year’s festival also aims to be the first carbon-neutral festival in Singapore,” said Marc Abensour, Ambassador of France to Singapore.

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Here are some key festival highlights that you can participate in.

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The Little Prince – A Musical Journey

What Opening with the orchestral adaptation by French composer Thierry Huillet of the much-beloved text Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) and performed by the Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra for the very first time in Asia in honour of the 75th anniversary of the classic book’s publication in France, the musical extravaganza will feature the use of hologram technology, the first time that this is being used in a theatrical musical production in Singapore, and the much-acclaimed and most Francophile local actor Hossan Leong will also be making an appearance as a character in the musical.

When November 3, 8pm and November 4, 3pm and 8pm

Find out more here

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Le Grand Jazz

What The Jazz Association of Singapore is presenting an exclusive Singapore-France collaborative big band tribute to the late French composer, jazz pianist, conductor and arranger Michel Legrand. Led by Music Director Jeremy Monteiro with Associate Music Director Weixiang Tan, French musicians—trumpeter Nicolas Folmer and saxophonist Sylvain Beuf—will perform virtually with the Jazz Association Singapore Orchestra (JASSO). The concert will also feature compositions by Folmer and Beuf in the style of Legrand and other French influences, and a joint composition by Folmer, Beuf and Monteiro.

When November 5, 8pm

Find out more here

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Designers Du Design – Interact

What First presented at Lille Metropole 2020, World Capital of Design, Designers du Design – Interact is an exploration of design praxis and practice, where the role of a French designer as creator and advocate inspiring future generations is imagined and interrogated by NoDesign in conversation with contemporary design figures. The exhibition, presented at Alliance Française de Singapour as part of the newly “French Excellence” series, illuminates the ways in which these designers conceptualise, co-create, transmit and produce across a diversity of mediums and practices.

When November 5 to December 6

Find out more here

 

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La Fontaine in Music

What To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the birth of the famous poet Jean de La Fontaine, the worldwide renowned baroque music ensemble founded 40 years ago by William Christie has created a programme that attempts to mirror his wandering life. The programme begins and ends with extracts from the opera L’Astrée for which La Fontaine wrote the libretto and Pascal Collasse the music. It also includes some Fables arranged by Clerambault, and music by Michel Lambert. The music is punctuated by letters and poems that illustrate the main events of La Fontaine’s journey through the years.

When November 8 to 9, 8pm

Find out more here

In case you missed it: Singaporean Conductor Darrell Ang Reveals How He Manages International Orchestras

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To Paris with Cédric Tiberghien

What Prominent French pianist, Cédric Tiberghien, returns to Singapore following his highly praised 2016 Singapore International Piano Festival performance. Together with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Cédric will be the guest soloist in Mozart’s sparkling Piano Concerto No. 31 “Paris” while the very French programme of this concert will also include Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, a homage to the courtly elegance of the French Baroque, and Mozart’s Paris Symphony, written when he visited the French capital in 1778.

When November 11, 7.30pm

Find out more here

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37th French Film Festival 2021

What The annual French Film Festival – one of the most anticipated film festivals in Singapore – is back and bigger than ever with 35 films! This year’s theme is crafted to complement vOilah! and the “feel good” edition. Many titles that have recently been released in France will have their premiere in Singapore, including Eiffel (by Martin Bourboulon with Romain Duris and Emma Mackey), Delicieux (by Eric Besnard with Gregory Gadebois and Isabelle Carré), and the much awaited cult movies, OSS 117 – From Africa with love (by Nicolas Bedos with Jean Dujardin and Pierre Niney) and Kaamelott (by Alexandre Astier). This 37th edition will also feature the section ‘’Music in Cinema’’ as well as a special programme dedicated to the movie director Agnès Varda, the godmother of the French New Wave. 

When November 11 to 28

Find out more here

Read more: The Winners of the Busan International Film Festival 2021
 




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Diard & Duvaucel

What The magnificient book “Diard & Duvaucel” is a compilation of intricate illustrations by two intrepid French naturalists, Pierre-Médard Diard and Alfred Duvaucel, two centuries ago. Diard and Duvaucel were amongst the earliest naturalists to conduct research and publish their observations, playing a key role in the study of biodiversity in Singapore. Some of the 2,000 items sent back to France from Singapore continue to be displayed in the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle in Paris. The livestreamed book launch will be the opportunity to address historic and current biodiversity issues during a panel discussion with experts from France and Singapore.

When November 12, 3 to 4.30pm

Find out more here

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Tanjong Pagar Railway Station Virtual Experience

What The former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station was officially opened in 1932 with fancy facilities such as a restaurant, a bar, a hair salon and even a hotel. Closed for the development of an extensive underground line since 2012, a virtual reality experience was designed to re-ignite an appreciation of its beautiful interior and allow visitors to navigate the spaces virtually. This virtual reality experience offers an experiential fly-through in the National Museum of Singapore. 

When November 13 to December 31, 10am to 7pm

Find out more here

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Gastronomy

What Gastronomy is a fundamental element of French culture, and foodie programming is staple to vOilah!. You will get to experience a French-inspired edition of Sundays at Atlas for guests to enjoy free-flow cocktails and indulge in grazing board showcasing traditional French specialities from saucisson to Bayonne ham, liver paté, fourme d'Ambert, Provençal olives and more, a classic lunch menu specially curated for vOilah! by the three Michelin-starred Chef Sébastien Lepinoy from Les Amis with caviar and cheese tasting, a tasting of the magical flavours of Peranakan cuisine by Chef Ruqxana will pair with the best of French wines by famous sommelière Stéphanie Rigourd, a private experience with Chef Louis Pacquelin from Clos Pasoh, the newly brasserie in Singapore offering French fine cuisine with a local twist, and the Parisian-style dessert flan meets Singaporean pandan for a limited-edition special pastry for vOilah! at all Tiong Bahru outlets over the island. 

When November 3 to December 10

 

 

 

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Choose France! Education & Career Fair ASEAN 2021

What A series of webinars will be given by representatives of France’s top-notch higher education institutions, encouraging students from Asean to further studying in France as well as of French MNCs for career and internship opportunities. This year, the virtual fair will target students not only in Singapore but also in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam with the support of the French embassies of the region.

When November 22 to 27

Find out more here

In case you missed it: A Taste of Home: Daniel Boulud on Finding Authentic French Flavours in France and New York

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Mapping the World: Perspectives from Asian Cartography

What This is a showcase of rare historical maps from across Asia, encouraging exploration of traditions, political and cultural spheres of influence and the exchange of cartographic knowledge between cultures of East and West. The exhibition presents at the National Library Singapore over 60 cartographic treasures from French institutions such as the Musée Guimet, École Française d'Extrême-Orient and Bibliothèque nationale de France, as well as the collections from The MacLean Collection (Chicago), Yokohama City University (Japan) and Singapore institutions including the National Library, Asian Civilisations Museum and Indian Heritage Centre, that embody the rich cartographic traditions of Asia.

When December 10 to May 8

Find out more here

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vOilah! Feels Good About Sustainability

What In line with its renewed focus on sustainability this year, Voilah will present a series of 10 programmes centred around sustainability, climate change and biodivsersity. Highlights include a sustainable French Market, which will showcase a selection of sustainable French products; What is Left of Reality, an immersive art installation exploring a new psychological, existential form of suffering caused by environmental changes at Science Centre Singapore; an exploration of organic, biodynamic, natural and sustainable wines; the digital lecture “Creative Destruction for Green Growth” by the world famous French economist Philippe Aghion; and the “Footprint” exhibition and panel discussion showcasing at Gardens by the Bay innovative ecological solutions by citizens all over the world. 

When November 3 to December 10

Voilah France Singapore Festival 2021 runs from November 3 to December 10. To view the full festival programme and purchase tickets, visit their website.

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