Portugal Day celebrated today in Paris at the Palais de Iéna

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The Day of Portugal, Camões and Portuguese Communities will be celebrated this year in France by the Portuguese Embassy, with a concert and reception at the Palais de Iéna, headquarters of the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council.

“We want to broaden the spectrum of our celebration of the national holiday, meaning that we can’t have in the Portuguese Embassy, however big it is, the same number of people at the same time as we can have in a larger space here in Paris,” said Ambassador José Augusto Duarte.

The event celebrating Portugal, Camões and Portuguese Communities Day will take place today and will bring together around 600 people, including the Portuguese community in France, French businessmen and authorities, as well as the foreign diplomatic corps accredited in Paris.

The Portuguese government will be represented by the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Elvira Fortunato.

In recent years, the celebration has been held at the Portuguese Embassy in France, in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, but José Augusto Duarte is keen to broaden the Embassy’s “potential relations” with different sectors of French society and the Portuguese community, also focusing on the cultural dissemination of Portuguese music.

“I would also like to evoke Portuguese culture and the important elements of our culture. We have a great presence of Portuguese artists in France during the year, but it’s never too much to take advantage of these opportunities to have more and value Portuguese musical creators and performers,” said the diplomat.

Thus, this celebration at the Palais de Iéna, also in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, will include a classical music concert with the D. Fernando II de Sintra orchestra, conducted by maestro Cesário Costa.

The concert will feature three distinct moments, with a piece by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns inspired by Lisbon, “Une nuit à Lisbonne”, a piece by Portuguese composer Luís de Freitas Branco, “Suite médiévale”, and a work by Mozart, “Concerto pour clarinette”.

Carlos Ferreira, Portuguese musician and principal clarinet of the Orchestre National de France, will be on hand to perform this Mozart composition.

As tradition dictates, a wreath will also be laid today at the bust of the poet Luís Vaz de Camões, in the avenue of the same name in the French capital.

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