Festival du Rocher – open air theatre, cinema and music

During our first visit to Cotignac in 2008, our aunty told us about this lovely open-air theatre and cinema in the village and invited us to watch Slum Dog Millionaire with them. With all the catching up and our enthusiastic introduction to Provence Rosé, we missed that show, but it’s been on my bucket list ever since.

Marcel and I moved to Cotignac at the end of 2013, and have been swept away by the busy summer tourist season, which coincides with the “Festival du Rocher” (also see their program on Facebook). As these events normally start at 21h30 when it’s dark enough, and often carry on past midnight, I’d been hesitant to take part. When you’re working in the village, it’s essential to balance one’s work life, social events and if you’re like me, the need for a decent amount of sleep.

When Lizzie arrived at Mirabeau in July for her internship, we made a date for Une Nuit à l’Opéra. Despite a rather crazy week, with wine-tasting events deep into the evenings, we kept our promise and headed towards the magnificent cliff in time for a delicious meal before the show. The gathering crowd excitedly found their seats, and not wanting to be left at the back, we scooped up our desserts and found ourselves a spot.

The experience was everything I hoped for.

The opera singers were amazing, and pianist a perfect accompaniment.

Illuminated at night, the cliff face provides a jaw-droppingly beautiful backdrop. The history of the village and ancient caves is palpable. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of being in the cradle of culture.

We were carried away by the performance, when it suddenly came to a stop, the lights turned on and people got up to leave. What? No encore? Lizzie and I giggled at each other when we realised it was ‘intermission’. We agreed that our experience was delightful, but wanting to appear fresh-faced in the boutique, we made a quiet exit. And enjoyed the buzz in the village on our way home.

We can only say, if you are in Cotignac, you must add this to your things to do. La vie est belle !

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