Arts News Singapore

Preview: vOilah! France Singapore Festival 2022

Experience the very best of France-Singapore partnerships at the eagerly anticipated vOilah! France Singapore Festival, the annual France Singapore festival presented by the Embassy of France in Singapore. Themed “Inspiration”, the 2022 edition of the festival will run from 26 October to 27 November this year, promising riveting co-produced experiences that will spark inspiration and enlighten minds and souls whilst strengthening and expanding the thriving partnership between the two countries in various fields of co-operation.

More than 120 organisations, artistes, and thought leaders from both France and Singapore will be coming together to present an exciting and rich lineup of programmes that promises something for everyone: think exhibitions, concerts, multimedia installations, film and photography festivals, sports events, educational lectures, and the biggest French food market to be presented in Singapore.

Boo Junfeng, a Singaporean homegrown filmmaker who has had some of his films shown at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, has been newly appointed as the Patron of vOilah! 2022, and is ready to be inspired once more by the richness of French culture through the myriad of experiences on offer at the festival. He says: “I am honoured to be the Patron for vOilah! France Singapore Festival 2022. France has always been a place of inspiration in my journey as a filmmaker. From the films of François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard and Agnès Varda to the experiences of premiering my own films at the Cannes Film Festival, I am thankful for the many great things that France has given me.”

Jazz Au Jardin. Photo Credit: Jazz Association (Singapore) Syarfique

Strolling along the tree-lined paths in the park on the fringe of the bustling city, picnicking on the rolling green fields along the lake, taking in the strains of lively jazz music—experience what seems to be quintessentially French at Jazz Au Jardin, the enchanting performance that will officially mark the opening of vOilah! 2022 on 29 October.

Femme X: Baroque Heroines. Photo Credit: Moonrise Studio

Singaporean King of Swing Jeremy Monteiro, together with the JASSO Ensemble, and the Godfather of Singapore jazz Louis Soliano, will perform well-loved jazz classics like “Invitation”, “Have You Met Ms Jones”, and “Autumn Leaves”. Talented French saxophonist Samy Thiébault will lead his Quartet in a heart-pumping showcase of his latest release, “Awé!”—a synthesis of influences from Caribbean stories, Indian inspirations, and a forever renewed Coltranian spirituality. Together, the jazz virtuoso from Singapore and France promise to deliver an evening of song and dance, encapsulating the essence of joie de vivre.

Salon of the Princesse de Polignac, Photo CreditL Clarence Aw

From 26 October to 27 November, look forward to an exciting line-up of programmes that will inspire, tantalise, enchant, and absorb the senses. The programmes are broadly categorised into CULTURE, LIFESTYLE, EDUCATION, and SCIENCE—the main domains of cultural co-operation between France and Singapore.

Mozart Flute & Harp Concerto. Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Under Culture, vOilah! shows off French culture and its renown for its sophistication and history. Dip your toes into the deep waters of French fine arts at vOilah!’s carefully curated line-up of musical and theatre performances, exhibitions, and literary and art workshops.

King Lear by Philip Glass, by Tana. Photo Credit: Nathalie Gabay

There is no lack of concerts to pique your senses at vOilah! 2022. Soak in the evocative musical performance King Lear by Philip Glass by the French quartet Tana; and take in a rare operatic performance that will showcase solo baroque cantanas in Singapore, Femme X: Baroque Heroines, performed by Teng Xiang Ting, Felicia Teo Kaixin, and Cherie Tse, accompanied by Red Dot Baroque and guest French harpsichordist Stéphane Fuget. Enjoy the Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s (SSO) jovial rendition of the rollicking Mozart Flute & Harp Concerto, led by renowned French maestro Ludovic Morlot; and celebrate the 100th death anniversary of the great French novelist Marcel Proust with the Salon of the Princesse de Polignac, featuring internationally acclaimed musicians Jamie Walton (Cello), Luca Buratto (piano), Singaporean violinist Tang Tee Khoon, and French clarinettist Florent Héau.

Spring Odyssey. Photo Credit: Elise Morin

Exhibited in the ongoing 8th Singapore International Photography Festival is Elise Morin’s Spring Odyssey, a complex multi-medium body of work combining photography, video, painting, and sound. Visitors to the exhibition will experience a space between reality and virtuality, as they explore the invisibility of radioactivity and negotiate the inaccessibility of bodies in the Chernobyl red forest area.

The twice-sold-out musical comedy A Singaporean in Paris, follows the experience of a Singaporean artist (Hossan Leong) who haplessly travels to Paris to fulfil his lifelong dream of performing in a cabaret. There, he finds out that not everything is as romantic as he initially thought and he has to hilariously fumble his way through the city and its people.

Singapore Writers Festival 2022

This year, France has been invited as the country focus at the annual Singapore Writer’s Festival. The SWF spotlights French authors whose works retroactively negotiate the concept of “if” and imagines radical new futures as a global community. Together with the Embassy of France, SWF has invited an incredible line-up of leading French thinkers and writers, from genres ranging from science fiction and sequential arts to poetry and journalism. The selected writers include Atiq Rahimi, Emma Becker, and Lilian Thuram.

Whether it is the jeans we wear, the pasteurised milk we drink, the neon signs that light up cities, the French stripes, also known as la marinière that Coco Chanel used in her luxury fashion line, or the iconic Smiley face we put in our text messages to each other, French inventions are everywhere around us. Discover more about these life-changing inventions at Iconic!, a showcase of French innovations through the ages as part of the French Excellence Programme by Alliance Française.

The annual French Film Festival is back as part of vOilah!, with its best selection of films to date. Presented by the Embassy of France in Singapore in partnership with local distributors and French institutions, this year’s edition runs from 17th to 27th November and celebrates French storytelling through 30 films across various genres, including thrillers, action, drama, romance, comedy and animation, to suit filmgoers of all ages. To bring French cinema closer to Singaporean homes, free screenings will be organised at selected public libraries in partnership with the National Library Board.

Some film highlights include:
o “Ride Above” by Christian Duguay
o “November” by Cédric Jimenez
o “The House” by Anissa Bonnefont
o “Kitchen Brigade” by Louis-Julien Petit
o “Tenor” by Claude Zidi Jr
o “Notre Dame on Fire ” by Jean-Jacques Annaud
o “Simone – The Journey of the century” by Olivier Dahan
o “Rumba Therapy” by Franck Dubosc
o “Kompromat” by Jérôme Salle
o “Vanishing” by Denis Dercourt
o Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be” by Amandine Fredon and Benjamin Massoubre
o Belle and Sebastian – Next Generation by Pierre Coré

Under Lifestyle, the common thread that ties France and Singapore share a common love food. Savour many little morsels of French cuisine with a local twist at vOilah! 2022’s line-up of gastronomic events that run the gamut of wine and cheese tastings and pairing, bread workshops, and the impressive French Food Market to close vOilah! 2022.

Tour de Singapore

Get started on your sweeping epicurean journey at the restaurant-hopping Tour de Singapore. Make your way through the Central Business District–Singapore’s historical and cultural district–and savour exquisite French cuisine at restaurants Poisson, Boeuf, and Noir.

Fittingly closing off the captivating experience of vOilah! 2022 is the French Food Market, Singapore’s largest and most comprehensive French food and festive market that will be held in the bustling heart of Orchard. Peruse the decadent food and craft stalls led by an inspiring line-up of French chefs, experts, sommeliers, cheese-mongers, producers, and cold-cut specialists, many of whom will offer generous tastings of their offerings.

The French lifestyle would not be complete without wine and cheese. Sip on a variety of French wines at vOilah! 2022, indulging in some perfect wine and cheese pairings at Little Farm’s Iconic Wine and Cheese Pairing Workshop. If you want to drink sustainably, Au Naturale’s Biodynamic Wine Workshop by Drunken Farmer and Vintage’s Organic Wine Tastings are perfect to get acquainted with biodynamic and organic wines.

Other than sampling wines with elegant French cuisine at SO France’s French Regional Dinners and TWO’s A Journey Through French Vineyards, see for yourself how these wines go perfectly with local cuisine too, at Vintage’s Local Food and Grand Cru Discovery that pairs a selection of French wines with seafood delights from local restaurant Yang Ming Seafood.

Salted Egg Croissant by Tiong Bahru Bakery

Breads remain one of France’s most loved foods. Learn how to make baguette and brioche, quintessentially French breads, at Tiong Bahru Bakery’s Baguette and Brioche Experience Workshop. In a true marriage of French and Singapore cultures, Tiong Bahru Bakery has created an exclusive and limited-edition Salted Egg Croissant for vOilah! 2022, in honour of the long-standing synergy between the two countries.

France and Singapore have long-running collaborative efforts in the realms of science and education, underscored by a similar commitment to innovation and sustainability. Over the years, several Memorandums of Understanding have been signed to strengthen this partnership, furthering the progress of the two countries.

Professor Frédéric Magniez

Learn more about how you can study in the top universities in France at the virtually held Choose France! Education and Career Fair ASEAN 2022; and hear about the experiences of French government scholar Imran Hashim, who studied at the Sorbonne and Sciences Po in Paris, at the France Singapore Alumni Lecture, a series of lectures that spotlights the education experience in France. As part of the France-Singapore Science and Innovation Lecture series, top researcher in the field of quantum computing, Professor Frédéric Magniez, will be speaking on the topic: Do We Need Quantum Computers?

Sports have always been an important aspect of French culture and lifestyle, from past to present. For the uninitiated, vOilah! 2022 introduces two of France’s most popular and glamorous sports: cycling and football. Singapore is the proud host to the latest addition to the global Tour de France race schedule, at the Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium. Watch how the closed-circuit race tests the speed and agility of the top cycling teams in the world, or participate as an amateur cyclist and have a first-hand experience of the fervour associated with cycling’s most prestigious brand.

In celebration of France’s participation in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and in support of the new cooperation agreement between the French Football Association and the Football Association of Singapore, the French Football Academy Singapore is organising the Allez Les Bleus Football Festival. The four-week long programme comprises mini-World Cup tournaments, and public viewing matches.

How Many Lives For A Building?

vOilah! remains committed to sustainability. The 2021 edition produced an estimated 589 tCO2e, which the festival offset with the equivalent of some 30,000 trees planted. Through the long-running partnership with Engie, a global company committed to accelerate the transition towards a carbon-neutral world, through reduced energy consumption and environmentally friendly solutions, the festival this year is taking steps towards becoming Singapore’s first net-zero festival by collectively reducing CO2 emissions. Working closely with its partners and learning from past festivals, vOilah! will continue to endeavour to reduce our carbon footprint for a more sustainable tomorrow.

vOilah! France Singapore Festival 2022 runs from 26th October to 27th November 2022. Full programme lineup and more information available here

0 comments on “Preview: vOilah! France Singapore Festival 2022

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: