Musical Bridges and Floraisons Musicales host a three-day French festival at La Mansión

The festival, which runs from Friday, February 14 through Sunday, February 16, is an a lá carte affair; each event is separate and requires a reservation. An opening wine tasting and reception, co-hosted by La Mansión and Alliance Francaise, San Antonio's French Society, kicks off


La Mansión del Rio Hotel
112 E. College Street

Friday, February 14
6-7pm wine tasting ($15)
7-8pm concert ($15)
8-9pm chocolate & champagne reception ($15)

Saturday, February 15
10:30am-noon Las Canarias brunch ($30)
Noon-1pm concert ($15)
1-2pm Las Canarias brunch ($30)

Sunday, February 16
6-8pm three-course dinner at Las Canarias ($40-60)
8-10pm concert ($15)

(Prices are per person)

the weekend. Executive Chef Scott Cohen has worked up a delectable menu that complements the superlative wines of the Provence region. The opening reception also includes a reading of love poems by San Antonio-based poet Judith Infante.

A piano and violin concert entitled Songs of Love will follow the reception, featuring the works of composers Chausson, Polenc, Debussy, Faure, and others. Day one wraps up with the opening of an art show featuring the work of local painters, including Betty Ward and Susan Dunis, and a champagne-and-chocolate "Meet the Artists" reception.

Saturday's event is more formal, boasting an exotic, three-course French fusion meal at Las Canarias by chef Scott Cohen. Texas Monthly senior editor Patricia Sharpe will lend her critical expertise, speaking on both the delights of traditional French cuisine and the feast at hand. At 8 p.m., the festival's artistic directors, French violinist Pierre Hommage and Russian-born pianist Anya Grokhovski (who performs with Floraisons Musicales), will play works by Franck and Chausson. Gemini Ink's 2002 Literary Excellence award-winner Wendy Barker will read between sets.

A lavish Sunday brunch rounds out the program, followed by a live performance by renowned French composer Françoise Choveaux and a reading by local art critic Wendy Atwell. Daunting as it may be, this weekend's program could easily keep you out of the Valentine's dog house for years to come. If nothing else, here's your big chance to prove that: a) you do have at least one romantic bone in your body, and b) you really do know what to do with it. •



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