Home » News » Buzz » WATCH: Artists Put up a Show on French Lake With Floating Piano to Ride Out Difficult Summer
1-MIN READ

WATCH: Artists Put up a Show on French Lake With Floating Piano to Ride Out Difficult Summer

Piano on French Lake / Reuters.

Piano on French Lake / Reuters.

The French troupe 'Piano du Lac' feared for the worst this year, unsure when they would perform again after the COVID-19 lockdown forced them to cancel two tours.

Against a backdrop of an 18th-century castle and grazing cows, singer Evelyne Zou rowed amidst water lilies as pianist Cecile Wouters played classics by Chopin, Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy on her floating piano.

The French troupe "Piano du Lac" feared for the worst this year, unsure when they would perform again after the COVID-19 lockdown forced them to cancel two tours.

But the group, who mounts shows on a float created by Voel Martin, gambled on the summer season and started touring again in mid-July, this time to masked and socially-distanced spectators.

Owner of the Ricquebourg Castle in northern France, Jean-Francois Marquis, said he welcomed the group for a two-night run of their show "Melting Flotte" to show his support for the cultural sector.

RELATED NEWS

Wouters, who aims to bring classical music to the countryside where concert halls are not widespread, said the rapport with the audience was stronger this time.

"I am so moved this year much more than the other years, to see an audience in front of me, who came despite this situation," she said.

France has extended income support to workers from the arts and culture industry, many of whom have lost their jobs during the coronavirus lockdown.

The government has been under pressure to help those known collectively in France as "intermittents du spectacle", or temporary show business workers, a sector employing 1.3 million people.

They include dancers, comedians, set designers, filmmakers and festival creators whose jobs often revolve around spring and summer events.

Acknowledging difficulties in the sector due to cancelled festivals and events, French President Emmanuel Macron said he wanted the government extend unemployment insurance payments from the end of August.

France recorded more 1,130 new COVID-19 cases as of July 24, and the death toll since of the beginning of the outbreak is at 30,192. Masks have become compulsory inside public places as of Monday (July 20).