A few weeks ago, I had the beautiful opportunity to sit in Saint Eustache and listen to the combined choirs of various branches of the University of Paris.The order and beauty of the setting was competently matched by a performance that drew upon a predominantly sacred ensemble of music. As much as many Parisians would like to deny it, the richness and beauty of the Catholic faith tradition is still evident in the art, music and even contemporary life of the city. An entire book can be written on that subject. On this particular evening, the influence of Catholic tradition was palpable and beautifully on display. On the 5th and 6th of June there will be more – with the concert on the 6th of June being a free one. I cannot wait to experience both performances! Details (in French): Mardi 5 juin 2012 à 20h30 Grand Amphithéâtre de la Sorbonne 47 rue des Écoles – Paris 5e Concert Chœur et Orchestre, direction Vincent Barthe Chef de chœur : Ariel Alonso Félix Burgan, violoncelle solo …
Apart from being one of Verdi’s most well known opera’s, it is also one set in Paris. This has to be one of the most dazzling lead performances of the Parisian opera played perfectly here by Anna Netrebko (who will be here in Paris at the beginning of May!). It’s a point of debate whether this famous Parisian character, Violetta, is celebrating her right to declare her freedom or whether, simply, she is in a desperate place of making sense of a clearly complicated love life. Whatever the case, the aria makes for a perfect welcome to the weekend! Or better still, it encapsulates a great attitude to embody for the weekend – that of Violetta deliberately intending to take control of her worries (albeit for a short time in her case) and to simply enjoy life. Hello to the long weekend – as they always are each week in Paris!
Just enjoyed a great evening out at the “theatre’ at Chatelet where a series of concerts (free) runs on weekends, with the last of the series being on the 19th. The only way to enjoy the music produced at this place is by going there, recordings only do a little bit of justice. It truly is a great venue and even greater quality when experienced up front. This was certainly tIme well spent! Loved it!Check the website out: http://www.chatelet-theatre.com
Cathedrale Notre dame de Paris – Puer Natus Est Highlight from George on Vimeo. A highlight from ” Puer Natus Est” a concert in medieval latin hosted by Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris. Well, my highlight video here is as grainy and unclear as they come – but suffice to say the concert was a great experience with music dating back to times before and around the completion of Cathedrale Notre Dame around 1345. Directed by Sylvain Dieudonne, this religiously themed concert around the propechy of a Judeo-Christian prophet, Isaiah about the birth of a child – king was both a tantalising glimpse into the style of music that woud have been sung around the establishment of the Cathedral – and food for thought on some of the theological roots of the Christmas Season.
Stumbled across an interesting BBC piece on talent scouting at the Louvre auditorium. The next concert seems to be scheduled for the 6th of January according to the Louvre’s programme (in French). Hoping to get a glimpse of an auditorium that has showcased contemporary and classic musicians, speakers, ‘grand masters’ of the arts and the like, soon. The Louvre seems to be open to the public for free on the first Sunday of each month (great to know if you are a student on a budget! 🙂
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. …
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!