LEWISTON — A film, food and children’s opera will highlight Francophone Month in Lewiston.

More than 80 children, preschool through grade five, from L’Ecole Francaise du Maine in Freeport, will perform an opera, “Le Bonheur Selon Les E’Leves de L’E.S.D.M” (“Happiness according to the students of the French School of Maine”) on Thursday, March 15.

The opera will be presented at La Rencontre (“the gathering”) as New England celebrates Le Mois de la Francophonie 2018 (Francophone Month).

La Rencontre will meet at 11:25 a.m. for a meal, which includes corned beef and cabbage, and the opera at the Gendron Franco Center, 46 Cedar St. The doors will open at 10 a.m.

The cost of the meal and the opera is $12 a person. Guests may contact the center office for reservations at 207-783-1585. Email reservations may be sent to [email protected]

La Rencontre is not restricted to French-speakers or those of Franco descent. All are welcome to attend the monthly meal and event as long as spots remain open.


A free movie, “Paul a Quebec,” will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 19, at the Gendron Franco Center. The 2015 drama is part of the TV5MONE-Days French Film Series and is about “Paul” and his wife, Lucie, who live in Montreal and are looking to buy a house where they can raise their daughter properly.

The Franco American Collection at USM/LAC will host a public forum, “The Unique Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul,” with Julie-Ann Baumer, writer and journalist, at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28. Baumer will speak about her articles on the Saints Peter and Paul Basilica followed by a cabaret-style sing-along with Les Troubadours. The event will be held at the University of Southern Maine L/A College Room 170, 51 Westminster St.

Beginning at 5 p.m. the same day, a public celebration and reception, including the presentation of the flags and singing of anthems for Canada, France and Quebec, will be hosted by the Gendron Franco Center and the Franco-American Collection at the center. Several leaders from the Maine Francophone/Francophile communities will be recognized. Call or email the box office to RSVP.

The children’s opera is a component of the 2018 Francophonie celebrations of French language and culture, which are organized annually by the consulates of France and Canada and the Government of Quebec.

The Freeport school is approved by the Maine Department of Education and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the French Ministry of Education and la Mission Laique Francaise.

The Gendron Franco Center is handicapped-accessible and is located on the corner of Cedar and Oxford streets in the “Little Canada” section of Lewiston.

Children from L’Ecole Française du Maine in Freeport will perform an opera, “Le Bonheur Selon Les E’Leves de L’E.S.D.M” on Thursday, March 15, at the Gendron Franco Center. They are pictured rehearsing for the performance.

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