Opera, Ballet, Theatre,
Concerts and Events

dancers from 'Raymonda'
The dancers from 'Raymonda.'

The Paris Program - Noël 1997

Paris:- Thursday, 4. December 1997:- This program is for those who intend to visit Paris over the coming holiday season. As new information becomes available, it will be added here, and the whole program will be repeated in all issues until the end of the year.

Special Holiday Events


Crèche de Venise - presents 1000 years of the history of Venice, from its paintings to its architecture and its music. The audio portion features the voices of Marcello Mastroianni and Pierre Santini. Daily from 10:00 to 20:00 in the heated tent located in front of Notre Dame, on the Ile de la Cité.

Noël Aux Cinq Continents - presents 150 creches from around the world. At the Forum des Halles - 1st and 3rd, on the balconies and the 1st level. Open daily 10:00 to 19:30; until Sunday, 4. January 1998. Info Tel.: 01 44 76 96 56.

Crèche Napolitaine au XVIII Siècle ou le Mystère de la Nativité - More than 70 figures in terra cotta or in wood, finely sculptured are assembled in a lively atmosphere; which represents a replica of 18th century Naples. Open daily except Mondays, from 11:00 to 19:00; until Sunday, 18 January 1998. At the Louvre des Antiquaires, 2. place du Palais-Royal, Paris 1. Info Tel.: 01 42 97 27 20.

Christmas Markets

Maison d'Alsace - features traditional seasonal Printemps on Haussmann specialties from Alsace; on show and for sale, including spiced bread and Advent crowns. From 11:00 to 19:00 daily, until Sunday, 28 December. 39. avenue des Champs-Elysées, Paris 8. Info Tel.: 01 42 56 15 94.

L'Alsace Fête Nôel a la Gare de l'Est - takes place in two 'villages' within the Gare de l'Est, at the place de Strasbourg, Paris 10. Thirty exhibitors show off Alsatian specialties of food and artisanal items, plus promote tourism. From 8:00 to 20:00 daily until Saturday, 20. December.

Christmas Concerts

Concert aux Chandelles - features the English Cathedral Choir of Paris performing traditional Christmas carols. On Saturday, 20 December at 21:00, in the Eglise Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, 23. quai Montebello, Paris 5. Info Tel.: 01 42 50 96 18.

Concertsolo - Un Nôel Russe, un Nôel Basque - features the Choeur Sirine de Moscou, presenting an ensemble of Russian Orthodox music, directed by Andrei Kotov. Anaiki Basque Men's Choir and mixed Hegoa Choir, directed by Jean-Marie Guezala, also features traditional instruments and groups of children.

Dates are Saturday, 20. December at 20:45 and Sunday, 21. December at 17:00. Also Thursday, 25. December and Sunday, 28. December at 17:00. On Friday, 26. December, Saturday, 27. December, Monday, 29. December, Tuesday, 30. December and Wednesday, 31. December, all at 20:45. Eglise Saint-Louis -en-l'Ile, 19 bis, rue Saint-Louis-en-l'Ile, Paris 4. Info Tel.: 01 44 62 70 90.

Concert d'Orgue - Within the framework of the Festival Boëllmann '97, François-Henri Houbart performs Boëllmann, Gigout and Cochereau. At 16:00, Thursday, 25. December; at the Eglise de la Madeleine, place de la Madeleine, Paris 8. Info Tel.: 01 43 40 22 61.

Festival d'Art Sacre de la Ville de Paris - 'Espagne, Chemins et Voix'

For its 20th anniversary, the presentation of the Sacred Spanish repertory, which illustrates scenes from the pilgrimages, Andalusian traditions, Spanish court music, mystical Spain, the Spanish provinces and Spanish music of the 20th century.

Until Thursday, 18. December. This festival is held in various churches in Paris, so you'll have to phone for information about locations and times: Info Tel.: 01 44 70 64 10.


Fidelio - Ludwig van Beethoven - Orchestre des Champs-Elysées with the choir of the Welsh National Opera. Produced lights at Samaritaine by Patrice Caurier. Directed by Louis Langrée and Mosche Leiser. Performances on December 9, 12, 16, and 18; at 19:30. Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, 15. avenue Montaigne, Paris 8. Info Tel.: 01 49 52 50 50.

La Traviata - Giuseppe Verdi - New Production - Orchestra and choir of the Opéra National de Paris. Produced by James Conton. Directed by Jonathan Miller, choir direction by David Levi. Performances on December 20, 24, 27, and 30; at 19:30. This opera continues until 10. January 1998. At the Opéra National de Paris Bastille, Paris 12. Info Tel.: 08 36 69 78 68.

Ballets - Danse

Opéra National de Paris - Palais Garnier

All of the following performances are with the entire company of the Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris.

Les Sylphides - choreography by Mikhaïl Fokine and music by Frédéric Chopin.
Le Spectre de la Rose - choreography by Mikhaïl Fokine and music by Carl Maria von Weber.
L'Après-Midi d'un Faune - choreography by Vaslav Nijinski and music by Claude Debussy.
Petrouchka - choreography by Mikhaïl Fokine and music by Igor Stravinski.

Performances are at 19:30 are on the following days: 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 20, 24, 27 and 30. December. Performances starting at 15:00 are on 25. and 28. December. Phone for dates of specific ballets - Info. Tel.: 08 36 69 78 68.

poster: ballet 'Raymonda'Opéra National de Paris - Bastille

Raymonda - choreography by Rudolf Nureyev, based on Marius Petitpa; music by Alexandre Glazounov. With the entire company of the Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris.

Performances are at 19:30 are on the following days: 13,18, 22, 23, 25, 26, 29 and 31. December. Performances starting at 15:00 are on 21. and 28. December. Info. Tel.: 08 36 69 78 68.

Operettas and Musical Comedy

Opéra National de Paris - Palais Garnier

Le Veuve Joyeuse by Franz Lehar - new production by Armin Jordan, under the direction of Jorge Lavelli with David Levi directing the music.

Performances are at 19:30 are on the following days: 9, 11, 19, 22, 23, 26 and 29. December. A performance starting at 15:00 is on 14. December. Info. Tel.: 08 36 69 78 68.

Opéra Comique - Place Boïeldieu, Paris 2

Une Nuit à Venice by Johann Strauss, with the Operetta Ensemble of Paris and the singers and chorgraphic ensemble of the Opéra Comique. Produced by Andreas Stoehr and under the direction of Alfred Wopmann.

Performances are at 19:30 are on the following days: 8, 9, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 30 and 31. December. Performances starting at 16:00 are on 21. and 28. December. Info. Tel.: 01 42 44 45 46.

Théâtre Mogador - 25. rue Mogador, Paris 9

La Vie en Bleu - or 'The Chronique des Années Picasso.' Musical comedy by Pascal Stive. Written by Jean-Michel Bériat and Raymond Jeannot and directed by Robert Hossein. Music performed by the philharmonic orchestra of Monte Carlo. A young Franco-Quebec cast recreates the tumultuous and passionate life of Pablo Picasso, from 1906 to 1973.

Performances are at 20:30; on Saturdays at 15:30 and 20:30 and on Sundays at 15:30. No performances Mondays. Info. Tel.: 01 53 32 32 00.


Comédie Française

Daily at 14:00 and 20:30 - alternating performances of:
La Vie Parisienne by Jacques Offenbach; directed by Daniel Mesguich - until 12. January 1998.
Nathan le Sage by Gotthold Ephraïm Lessing; directed by Alexander Lang.
Les Fourberies de Scapin by Molière - a new production - directed by Jean-Louis Benoit - until June 1998.
Les Bonnes by Jean Genet; directed by Philippe Adrien.
Comédie Française - Salle Richelieu, 2. rue de Richelieu, Paris 1. Info. Tel.: 01 44 58 15 15.

Théâtre des Variétés

La Puce à l'Oreille by Georges Feydeau, directed by Bernard Murat; with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Béarice Agenin, Sabine Haudepin, Pierre Vernier and Jean-Paul Bordes. Performances daily at 20:30 and Sunday matinée at 15:00. Closed Mondays. Théâtre des Variétés, 2. boulevard Montmartre, Paris 2. Info. Tel.: 01 42 33 09 92.

Théâtre National de Chaillot

Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, directed by Jérôme Savary. With Francis Huster. Performances at 20:30 plus 15:30 on Sundays. On 25. December and 1. January, at 17:00. At 20:00 on 31. December. Closed Mondays. Théâtre National de Chaillot, place du Trocadéro, Paris 16. Info. Tel.: 01 53 65 30 00.

Odéon - Théâtre de l'Europe

Les Précieuses Ridicules by Molière. Directed by Jérôme Deschamps and Macha Makeieff. The alternating cast includes Jean-Marc Bihour, Olivier Broche, Lorella Gravotta, Jérôme Deschamps, Philippe Dusquesne, Camille Grandville, Robert Horn, Bruno Lochet, Yolande Moreau, François Morel, Olivier Saladin and François Toumarkine.

Performances from Monday, 8. December until Sunday, 28. December, except on Mondays. Matinée 15:00 on Sundays. In the grand salle at the Odéon, 1. place Paul-Claudel, Paris 6. Info. Tel.: 01 44 41 36 36.


Charles Asnavour is singing at the Palais des Congrés until Saturday, 3. January 1998 - except on Mondays, Christmas and New Years Day. Performances at 20:30 and at 16:00 on Sundays. Palais des Congrés, 2. place de la Porte-Maillot, Paris 17. Info. Tel.: 01 40 68 00 05.

Marcel Marceau has two alternating shows: The first is Pantomimes de Style et Pantomimes de Bip and the other is Le Chapeau Melon ou l'Extraordinaire Odyssée de Jonathan Bowler, which is described as a 'Mimodrame.' Except Mondays, on daily until Sunday, 11. January 1998 at 20:30 and at 15:00 on Sundays. At the Espace Cardin, 1. avenue Gabriel, Paris 8. Info. Tel.: 01 42 65 27 35.

Musiques et Danses Viennoises are performed by the Budapest Strauss Symphony Orchestra, with the ballets by Pannonia. Afternoon performances at 15:30 are on 14, 17, 21 and 28. December. Evening performances are at 20:30 on 17, 18, 27, 30 and 31. December. At the Salle Pleyel, 252. rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, Paris 8. Info. Tel.: 01 45 61 53 00.


Les Ibères - The Iberians - in the century before Christ's birth, life developed in the basin of the western Mediterranean, between Andalusia and the Languedoc. It was a civilization with advanced social and artistic characteristics, contemporary with the Phoenicians and the Greeks. Until Monday, 5. January 1998. At the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais - see below:

Prud'hon ou le Rêve du Bonheur - 1758 to 1823 In advance of Romanticism, Prud'hon was a major painter and artist during the years of the Revolution, Empire and the Restoration. Until Monday, 12. January 1998. At the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais - see below:

Georges de la Tour - 1593 to 1652 This exhibition of de la Tour's work features 30 original paintings and an equal amount of atelier sketches and old copies of quality; which give a complete idea of his work. Until Monday, 26. January 1998. At the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais - see below:

These shows are all at Grand Palais. The shows are open daily from 10:00 to 20:00 and to 22:00 on Wednesdays. Reservations are required in the mornings from 10:00 to 12:30 and these can be made at the Grand Palais, at the Paris Tourist Office or at fnac locations, or by calling 01 49 87 54 54.

Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, place Clemanceau, Paris 8. Info. Tel.: 01 44 13 17 17 or 01 44 13 17 30.

Paris et Parisiens au Temps du Roi Soleil Engravings from the 18th windows at Bon Marche century form a illustrated history of Paris under the reign of Louis XIV. Famous engravers such as Israël Silvestre show Parisian architecture while Robert Nanteuil portrayed Parisian society and dress was captured by Jean Lepautre and his contemporaries. Working life scenes were done by Abraham Bosse, and the history of France is reflected in the surviving almanacs on show.

Musée Carnavalet, 23. rue de Sévigné, Paris 3. Open daily except Mondays, from 10:00 to 17:40 - this show continues until Sunday, 18. January 1998. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 21 13.

Customary 'No Guarantee' Warning

This program has been complied from an abbreviated December version of the Paris Tourist Office's 'Selection.' Whatever else I've been able to turn up by chance has been added. Telephone numbers have not been verified; some of them may lead to robot-answering computers, which may waste your time and money.

In case of problems, please direct your feedback to the usual people, listed below.

The photos of the department stores are, from top to bottom: Printemps, Samaritaine and the Bon Marché. Next week, this guide to the season's events will feature photos of display windows with their Christmas decorations.

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