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Parc Floral de Paris © Alexandre Vialle/WikiCommons
Parc Floral de Paris © Alexandre Vialle/WikiCommons
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Classique au Vert: Classical Music Takes Over The Parc Floral De Paris

Picture of Paul McQueen
Updated: 17 December 2016
Returning for its 19th edition, Classique au Vert will soon transform the already magnificent Parc Floral de Paris, one of the city’s finest gardens, into a wonderland of classical music. Paris’s answer to London’s The Proms, held predominantly in the Royal Albert Hall, this series of open-air concerts held every Saturday and Sunday between August 6th to September 18th will entice and entertain upwards of 80,000 spectators.

The theme this year is ‘unexpected journeys’ and the musicians have been tasked above all with surprising their audiences. A musical tour, starting in Brazil and working its way to Eastern Europe via the Mediterranean, should help listeners discover or rediscover the roots of works by great composers such as Bach, Beethoven and Brahms and Stravinsky. The organizers intend to create a ‘flamboyant and festive’ feel and the shows are aimed at everybody, from lifelong lovers of classical music to absolute newcomers. Sound good? Check out their teaser video below.

Each of the fourteen days of this weekend festival follows the same schedule. First up, at 11am, are the (insanely gifted) amateurs, some as young as 12, looking to get some invaluable public performance practice under their belts. Noon has been officially designated as picnic time, a sage decision considering your mind will no doubt have been blown by the talented stars of tomorrow. This is also the ideal time to explore the 35 hectares of carefully tended, exotically planted gardens that were created for the International Flower Show of 1969. For those more adventurous or child-like of spirit, there’s an arboreal assault course and miniature golf course featuring the monuments of Paris.

If you fancy yourself as an undiscovered singing sensation or long to replicate Pitch Perfect-style harmonies, then 1pm is the time for you to get involved with the Vocal Workshop. Marianne Seleskovitch’s choir is open to anyone with the chords and the guts to perform in front of a crowd, and will ultimately play the main stage on the final weekend of the festival. At 2pm, pre-concert lectures will be given by experts to those who desire more information about the music they are about to hear. The theory being that the more you learn, the more you love.

Then, at 4pm, the headline acts take to the Delta stage, which overlooks the lake and its bordering swathes of flowerbeds. Kicking off the festival on Saturday, August 6th will be the aptly named The Amazing Keystone Big Band. Other top-flight performers across the seven weekends include the renowned mezzo-soprano Karine Deshayes and Trio S9 on the marimbas. Have a listen to these three below and take a look at the rest of the 14 acts in the full calendar here.

After the concerts, at 5:30pm, you’ll have the chance to put your questions to the musicians during Meet the Artists sessions. Access to all of the festival’s events is included in the cost of entry to the park — 6€ for adults, 3€ if you are under 25, and free for children under 7.

Classique au Vert offers a genuinely fresh take on classical music and, all the more amazingly, you can enjoy it without sacrificing one second of Paris’s summer sun.

Parc Floral de Paris, 1 Route de la Pyramide, 75012 Paris