Paris Opera Ballet Luncheon
On July 11, 2012, Antonin Baudry, the Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy hosted a luncheon with Association pour le Rayonnement de l’Opéra de Paris, the American Friends of the Paris Opera and Ballet, and Vacheron-Constantin to honor the 2012 American tour of the Paris Opera Ballet.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to host you here today, and I would like to deeply thank Juan-Carlos Torres, CEO of Vacheron Constantin, as well as Hugues de Pins, President of Vacheron Constantin North America, who made this luncheon possible.
As you know, diplomats work to make dialogue possible between two countries.
For me, as I am the Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the United States, obviously, it is about French-American dialogue.
But sometimes words are not the most effective way to communicate.
Sometimes what’s unsaid can be much stronger.
Beauty can be stronger.
Dance can be stronger.
Every diplomat knows it.
Back in the 18th century, there was one famous French diplomat, who was also a spy and a revolutionary, who said: “Diplomacy needs a calculating man, but it is a dancer who obtained things.”
This diplomat, who was also a spy and a revolutionary, was also a playwright.
Maybe you guessed already: he was none other than Beaumarchais, in his Marriage of Figaro that later inspired Mozart’s opera.
Today, thanks to the brilliant work of Brigitte Lefevre and thanks to her wonderful team, the Paris Opera Ballet is fostering the richness of the cultural dialogue between France and the United States.
What we celebrate today is the largest American tour, 15 years after their last appearance in New York.
This tour was made possible by you, dear American Friends of the Paris Opera and Ballet.
I would really like to thank Olivia Flatto, whose energy and dynamism are incredible.
Many thanks to Hal Witt, of course.
Thanks to the Association pour le Rayonnement de l’Opéra de Paris,
And thanks to Vacheron Constantin, for your generous support.
Thank you to all our guests. You participated in introducing new generations to masterful choreography, like Giselle, and to the virtuosity of the oldest ballet company.
And this is not only about dance or opera.
It’s neither only about culture and dialogue.
I think it is about civilization.
And now, I am delighted to give the floor to Juan-Carlos Torres, the CEO of Vacheron Constantin.
Speech by Mr. Antonin Baudry, Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy
Cultural Services, July 11th, 2012
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