Magical Belle-Ile – and opera

The island of Belle-Ile en Mer lies just off the Brittany Coast reached by ferry from Quiberon (56 Morbihan, Brittany). Each summer (30 July – 16 August 2019) it provides a magical setting for a festival of opera – Lyrique en Mer

lyrique_en_merSince 1998 the Festival has been presenting opera performances and concerts in the magical setting of Belle-Île-en-Mer in Brittany, France.

Over the past thirteen years the historic Citadelle Vauban has played host to performances of such works as Don Giovanni, Bluebeard’s Castle, The Tales of Hoffmann, Madame Butterfly, Carmen, Falstaff, Don Pasquale, The Magic Flute, La Bohème, The Barber of Seville, Tosca, Rigoletto, L’Elisir d’Amore and Cosi fan tutte. In 2012, the festival celebrated its 15th anniversary with a season which presented critically acclaimed performances of Verdi’s Otello and Rossini’s La Cenerentola.

The Festival is well-known for presenting up and coming international singers from such prestigious houses as New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, L’Opèra de Paris, La Scala, Milan and London’s Covent Garden.

Lyrique-en-mer prensent for the 2013 season performances of Bizet’s Carmen and Rossini’s Barbier of Seville in the Citadelle Vauban.

The summer’s programme also included Haendel’s Messiah performed by the Festival Chorus in the churches of Le Palais, Bangor, Sauzon and Locmaria.

Belle-Ile is a delightful small, quiet island, which we discoved a few years ago. Very photogenic – at least outside the summer months. There is a car ferry to the main town (Le Palais) from Quiberon, but it may work out cheaper to hire a car on the island – no great distances are involved – a trip to the pretty harbour at Sauzon and on to the Lighthouse on the Poulains – or the Sarah Bernhardt Museum (April to September only)  or south to the small beach at  Locmaria.

Being an island in the Atlantic, the weather plays an important role – storms can make for some dramatic landscapes, whilst at other times the island is peaceful and tranquil.

We stayed at the Hotel Restaurant Atlantique on the harbourside at Le Palais – other hotels, B&B and self-catering on the island

View from Hotel Atlantique, Le Palais
View from Hotel Atlantique, Le Palais

For more info on the Opera Festival

Belle Ile Tourist Office


view from Hotel Atlantique, Le Palais
view from Hotel Atlantique, Le Palais
Sauzon, Belle-Ile
The harbour at Sauzon


les poulains
The Lighthouse on les Poulains

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