The Paris Opera’s General Director Alexandre Neef talks performances, budgets…and the Chagall ceiling

Paris Opera General Director Alexander Neef has clear ideas about all issues affecting opera, ballet and the arts in general, except for one: artificial intelligence. Like much of the world, he is in “awe and terror” of it, he told 16 members of the AAPA at an on-the-record meeting in Palais Garnier May 4. Neef’s biggest challenge since arriving at the three years ago of the National Opera de…


General Jean-Paul Palomeros: Will Ukraine have the manpower to win the war?

Ukraine may have the will, but it may not have the men — or the munitions — to win the war, France’s former Air Force chief of staff, retired General Jean-Palomeros says. “I’m not sure that the Ukrainians have the human potential in the long term to sustain this war,” Palomeros told AAPA journalists Wednesday (March 14) at a press conference hosted by Bloomberg. It was not a prediction, added…


French health minister François Braun: many health care systems are faltering

French health minister François Braun: many health care systems are faltering Public health care systems are faltering in many parts of the world, especially since the outbreak of the Covid-19, Health and Prevention Minister François Braun told the AAPA on February 21. Meeting more than 20 members—some at the ministry and others on Zoom—he said the problems varied from country to country, but…


Winter is coming

On November 16, the Anglo American Press Association had a meeting with energy specialist Dr. Thierry Bros in a Zoom session attended by a dozen or so members. Bros, a professor at Sciences Po Paris, has 30 years’ experience in energy and climate, from the policy side to trading floors. He gave us a layout of the energy situation across Europe as we head into this crucial winter. Of the…


Discovering a Renovated Parisian Treasure

The newly restored BnF Richelieu is more than a library. It’s a repository -- described as “a vast archipelago of spaces” – for art history and culture, containing manuscripts, prints and photography, coins, medals and antiques. The AAPA met with Laurence Engel, the library’s director, on November 24 and toured these historical rooms and their priceless collections: the scores of Mozart’s Don…


Climate Change Targets in Jeopardy, says IEA

The AAPA met with IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol at the organization’s headquarters (and by Zoom) on November 23 to discuss the current acute energy crisis. Dr Birol said that, in his opinion, because of the invasion of Ukraine, “Russia has lost its EU clients for good.” He also said that without cutting the use of coal, oil and gas, the world will fall well short of its climate targets. But…


OECD Outlook: Bad Times Ahead

“If you think energy prices are bad now, winter will be worse,” Alvaro Pereira, acting Chief Economist for the OECD told us by Zoom on November 21, the day before the Paris-based agency released its annual economic outlook. Pereira said the confluence of the war in Ukraine, Covid supply chain disruptions, and resulting inflation have created the worst energy shock since the 1970s. The crisis…


The World According to Plantu

Members of the AAPA met with the editorial cartoonist Jean Plantu, whose political cartoons have illustrated the pages of Le Monde newspaper for the last fifty years, at the Maison des Photographes in Paris. Himself accompanied by a security agent, Plantu discussed the threats to the freedom of expression faced by cartoonists, not only from authoritarian regimes or religious fanatics, but also…


Festive Summer Party

On June 20, we chose to edge slowly into post-Covid social life with a Summer Party instead of a Gala, held at the Caring Galley in rue Charlot (Paris 03), which features exhibits promoting social themes such as inclusion and diversity. Les Cuistots Migrateurs -- a catering company which employs refugees and migrants who cook and serve their native foods - provided refreshments. We felt the…


Air France-KLM CEO Travel Advisory

Air France-KLM CEO Travel Advisory And finally, in time for summer holiday travel chaos, on June 23, we met with Ben Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM, at the company's historic offices in the Air France terminal at Invalides. Smith spoke of the outlook for holiday travel, telling us that AF had hired more than 60 pilots in anticipation of an uptick in travel and warning that ticket prices would rise.…