Springtime around the world usually means warmer temperatures, brightening skies, and an awakening of life. In Monte-Carlo, in Monaco, it also means that it is time for celebrating music, dance, and the arts in its yearly festival, Printemps des Arts. For several weekends from mid-March through April, concertgoers can enjoy twenty five musical and dance performances, several conferences, dance performances, plus master classes by some of the performers. The many performances by the hometown Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra and parts of the Monte-Carlo Opera are sure to please, and the diverse selection of visiting performers give attendees a chance to sample the culture of the world without having to leave the Riviera. Thinking about the whole festival left me wondering, wouldn't this be a great excuse to plan a trip to Monaco?
For the 2013 festival, attendees can choose from many performances, several of Ludwig von Beethoven, Igor Stravinsky, and Bela Bartok's works, plus four other special dance and music performances. The special performances give visitors a chance to enjoy some international treats: one by the Royal Ballet of Cambodia, one of Khmer music, one by Congo's Kimbanguist Symphonic Orchestra (see the video below), and finally a celebration of "Degenerate Music" - works by Jewish composers whose work was banned by the Nazis prior to World War 2. To top it all off, on the second weekend there is a special performance, the Voyage Surprise, where the performance itself is a secret to everyone but the performers. For a full schedule of performances, check out the festival website. Tickets range from 23 to 48 euros per show, depending on the performance, and can be purchased here.
Until I discovered the Printemps des Arts, I'd never gotten excited at the prospect of a musical festival of this sorts. However, after realizing how diverse the different groups are, and hearing some of the examples of their works on Youtube, I'm more eager than I ever imagined I'd be to get a taste of their work in person. Take a look at the video below of the Kimbanguist Symphonic Orchestra (the vocals blew me away), find some works by the other performers, and I wager that you'll find yourself contemplating a springtime trip to the Riviera.