Main Content


For over two hundred years France and the United States have enjoyed a relationship unparalleled in world history. Forged in the Revolutionary War, when French intervention helped to secure American independence, and confirmed in World Wars I and II, when American soldiers helped to liberate France, the alliance has endured throughout the ages. Beyond these times of war the French and American people have also interacted through art, philosophy and more to create a shared culture often symbolized in our nation’s capital, the White House, and the lives of American presidents.

The White House Historical Association, together with the Embassy of France, is highlighting this remarkable historic relationship by organizing a full-day symposium, culinary experience, and cultural event. France in the White House: A Conversation on Historical Perspectives, the second of a series of internationally themed symposia planned through 2018, will be held on May 4, 2017 at the Association’s historic property adjacent to the White House in Lafayette Square. It will feature remarks by the Ambassador of France to the United States, followed by morning and afternoon presentations by experts in the field of U.S.-France history. Speakers and panelists will trace the long history of the U.S.-French alliance; highlight the significance of French art and design in the White House; explore U.S.-French cultural encounters through the lens of the Executive Mansion; and follow the currents of French-American intellectual exchanges from the founding of the United States onward. A luncheon will feature culinary offerings inspired by menus from past State Dinners for visiting French leaders. In addition guests will be serenaded with an offering of French music inspired by historic White House performances.

French Symposium Musician

Opera Layfayette


Founded by Artistic Director Ryan Brown, Opera Lafayette is an American period instrument company known for its modern premieres of rediscovered masterpieces freshly interpreted to illuminate a work's original appeal and its contemporary relevancy. From its chamber music origins, Opera Lafayette, now in its third decade, presents concerts, semi-staged and fully-staged operas, and is committed to imaginative and inventive productions. OL's expanding legacy of recordings -- twelve at last count -- underscores its artistic mastery and its commitment to inspiring an abiding public appreciation of this repertoire. Based in Washington, DC, where its three season performances take place at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Company has expanded its horizons since 2014 to include New York City where its full season is now also regularly produced. OL gained international fame when, at the invitation of Château de Versailles Spectacles, it performed twice, in 2012 and 2014, at the Opéra Royal in Versailles, France, closing with five sold-out performances.