Monaco's 2004 Spring Festivities In Full Bloom During Spring Arts Festival And Absolument Monaco

Melodious airs will be wafting over Monaco this season as Monte-Carlos twentieth edition of the Spring Arts Festival (Printemps des Arts) ushers in the sweet blossoms, April 3-18, 2004, with acoustic and visual works from a wide spectrum of artistic genres, from medieval and classical to contemporary, gipsy, northern Indian, and avant-garde jazz. This years festival includes special tributes to Debussy and Mozart and a Childrens Day designed to introduce children to various musical styles.

Following is an outline of some of the greatest highlights of this years festival:

— An Offbeat Parade Through the City. A street parade inspired by world famous circuses and carnivals. Saturday, April 3rd, from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

— An Evening in India: Music and Dance. Saturday, April 3rd, at the Sporting dHiver, features three different recitals celebrating northern Indias rich culture from classical tones of Hindustani music to ancient traditions of Kathak dancer-storytellers who use facial expressions and movements of the body to recite sacred texts to villagers.

— A Surprise Day-Out! Sunday, April 4th, 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Music aficionados will be escorted by a luxury touring bus to three secret atypical locations for three different surprise concerts by world famous artists whose names will be zealously guarded until they appear on stage.

— Childrens Day. Tuesday April 6th, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. is exclusively reserved for children from ages 9 to 11. The program co-produced by Monacos Ministry of Education provides children with an opportunity to experience a wide range of musical genres.

— Debussy, A Portrait. Thursday, April 8th, 8:30 p.m., Salle des Variétés, will feature the extraordinary talent of soprano Sandrine Piau joining the Opéra de Monte-Carlo in an unusual recital of poems by Mallarmé, Verlaine and Baudelaire.

— On Friday, April 9th, at the Auditorium Rainier III, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of baroque music master Harry Bicket and the New Company London choir will execute Mozarts Requiem as Monaco pays tribute to one of the greatest musical composers ever in “Mozart, A Portrait.”

— Off Beat Jazz in Monaco. Sunday, April 11th, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Salle du Canton, brings together varied talents from the United States, France and England, who display endless creativity in blending varied musical styles. This program includes percussionist Jim Blacks first performance on the Riviera.

— Monacos world reputed Ballets de Monte-Carlo will be performing “Miniatures” on various occasions throughout the festival, from Wednesday, April 14 to Sunday, April 18 at the Grimaldi Forums Salle des Princes. Choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillots talent elevates the troupe to new heights in this latest oeuvre as dancers convey emotions produced by music.

–The festivals grand finale on Sunday, April 18th at 6:00 p.m. at the Grimaldi Forum Hall, promises to be a true fête with the wildly energetic music of the gipsy band Taraf de Haïdouks whose vibrant rhythms have conquered Europe and the U.S. after their leading role in the multiple award-winning 1992 film Latcho Drom.

The Grimaldi Forum is also hosting “China: Treasures of Everyday Life,” April 9 – May 16, 2004; a comprehensive exhibit providing an in-depth journey into 20th century Chinese society.

The full program of the Spring Arts Festival is available at www.printemps-des-arts.mc

Tickets for each individual concert, with the exception of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo performances, are 15 Euros. Ballet performance ticket prices vary. A pass providing access to all recitals, including one performance of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, can be obtained for 100 Euros. Tickets can be purchased online at www.monaco-spectacle.com or by calling +377-92 16 22 99.

Absolument Monaco
To further boost the spring celebrations, the principalitys second annual Absolument Monaco program, April 16-18, will allow visitors to live like royalty for a weekend at very reasonable prices. For the very modest sum of 18 Euros, visitors can purchase an Absolument Monaco pass providing access to one of the Spring Arts Festival recitals, a presentation of “Miniatures” by the Ballets de Monte-Carlo as well as entry to the “China: Treasures of Everyday Life” exhibit at the Grimaldi Forum.

In addition to the pass, Absolument Monaco offers numerous other benefits over the weekend including two-for-one tickets at participating museums and gardens throughout the principality, and prix-fixe menus at participating restaurants to savor Monégasque gastronomic delights. Lunch menus will cost 20 Euros and special happy hour and dinner menus have been set at 35 Euros.

And what better way to capture the beauty and charm of Monaco than from a birds eye view of the principality. Panoramic helicopter escapades will be available throughout the weekend for only 38 Euros per person.

For more information on the Principality of Monaco, please contact the Monaco Government Tourist Office at 565 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10017; telephone (800) 753-9696 or (212) 286-3330; or e-mail info@visitmonaco.com Information is also available via the MTGO web site at www.visitmonaco.com

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