Month: October 2010

June Anderson – CANDIDE (1989) Leonard Bernstein conducts

The lyrics are quite thought provoking. A deep, morose, depressing reflection on a Parisienne who finds herself in a city where she feels the very real pressure to fit in and play the role of a happy socialite: To conform to the less pleasant part of Paris – that part that is demanding, snobby, and at times unforgiving of people who do not necessarily fit into the mould. But, there are several other things to love Paris for… Here are the lyrics, performed by a leading voice of Opera, June Anderson. Paris opera buffs should, as a matter of course, love this diva. Glitter and be gay,That’s the part I play;Here I am in Paris, France,Forced to bend my soulTo a sordid role,Victimized by bitter, bitter circumstance.Alas for me! Had I remained Beside my lady mother,My virtue had remained unstainedUntil my maiden hand was gainedBy some Grand Duke or other. Ah, ’twas not to be;Harsh necessityBrought me to this gilded cage.Born to higher things,Here I droop my wings,Ah! Singing of a sorrow nothing can assuage. …

Virtual Tour of Opera Garnier

Click on header above for a virtual tour of Paris’ famous Opera House, and one of this blogger’s favourite baroque-esque buildings that housed the Paris Opera from 1875 to 1989. Palais Garnier still holds her own as an impressively elaborate work of art, and home to the Opera, although from the early 90s, the honor of housing opera and ballet has shifted from this beautiful structure. A production of Swan Lake is scheduled for later this year, tickets are already nearly sold out. This blogger looks forward to Swan Lake in the second half of December!

Right-Wing France 1, Pension-Reformers, 0

As is the trend elsewhere in Europe, the political right seems to feel emboldened and more brazenly conservative than before. The apparent failure to reverse pension reform in France only seems to have served to give the political right the impression that they’ve won a critical battle. If voters will punish Nicolas Sarkozy in the next contest for his seat is far from certain. It was precisely because Sarkozy managed to successfully appeal to the right that he owes his power today. Voters who would have voted for a more distinctly right-wing candidate were comfortable moving closer to the centre for a Sarkozy presidency that promised to perfor the ‘right’ things. His current hardline on pension reform is the gutsy display of power that right wingers love and should serve hm well down the road. Oh, and there is the inadvertent added benefit of terrorism threats – these, the weak defenseless Roma all provide, albeit tragic, opportunity to display the tough state image that handsomely delivered hundreds and thousands of voters into the Sarkozy camp …

VIsualisation – Paris Promo Video

There definitely is no shortage of images on the city of Paris that conform to its several stereotypes: as the city of fashion, culture, a continental capital and a city carrying the weight of history. While some people discern a decline in Paris’ relevance in the face of new, emerging capitals elsewhere – Dubai as a case in point among others in the “BRIC” countries (Brazil, Russia, India China) – Paris continues to hold its own as a premier haunt of tourists. It remains a strong contender as a lucrative destination for several reasons – Check this out!… <a href="”>

Spicing up a story that’s run its cycle, Latest installment of theBin Laden Tapes

It could be that Le Parisien might be struggling to provide a new angle on a story that’s been running for a long time (the debate around pension reform) – the headline story in today’s paper looks into undercover policemen infiltrating crowds of protestors. Also making headlines is Osama Bin Laden’s alleged recording warning France to view the holding of French hostages in Niger as al-Qaeda retaliation to treating muslims as second class French citizens and for banning the burqa. France 24 provides an interesting overview of the days key headlines: <a href="http://www.france24.com/en/sites/all/modules/maison/aef_player/flash/player.swf“&gt;

La patisserie de reves!!

Translated into English, it’s called the ‘bakery of your dreams’ – well, maybe that’s a loose translation. But checkout the website! Looks delicious, referred to by a dear french teacher. Making my way to this place ! Can’t wait! (click in the heading above!) more pictures to follow!