Opera, Ballet, Theatre,
Concerts and Events

Samaritaine window

Samaritaine's windows tell a 'story' - and this one has a Mexican theme.'

The Paris Program - Noël 1997 - Part II

Paris:- Thursday, 11. December 1997:- This program is for those who may be intending to visit Paris over the coming holiday season. New information has been added for this issue. The whole program, with possible further updates, will be repeated in this year's remaining issues.

A short and brief list of events is included in an Ile-de-France section, following the list of Paris events.

Special Holiday Events in Paris


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 specialties from Alsace; on show and for Bon Marche window 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.

The story told in the Bon Marche's windows is highly imaginative.

'Brocante Gourmande' - on the boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle, Paris 2 and 9. Between métro stations Bonne Nouvelle and Strasbourg-St-Denis. From Friday, 19. December until Wednesday, 24. December. Info. Tel.: 01 53 79 12 95.

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 by Patrice Caurier. Directed by Louis Langrée and Mosche Leiser. Performances on December 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 at 19:30 are on the following days: 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.

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 at 19:30 are on the following days: 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 at 19:30 are on the following days: 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

Gal. Lafayette windowUne 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.

This Galeries Lafayette window is almost like a 'Night in Venice.'

Performances at 19:30 are on the following days: 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 continue 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 Printemps window 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.

Printemps' windows also have elaborate themes, and this one has reflections too.

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 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 three 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 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.

The 'Cirque du Docteur Paradi'

The spectacle of the Circus of Doctor Paradi was inspired by the works of the Vesque sisters; Marthe and Juilette. Between 1905 and 1950 they created a body of works in watercolors, much prized today, for Samaritaine window the homage paid to the circus. This live Circus of Doctor Paradi is not a tableau taken from the paintings, but uses the ingredients - the horses, August, the white clown, the juggler, the ring, the aerials, an orchestra - with fantasy rather than parody; respecting its roots and its traditions, while being contemporary.

A small detail from one of Samaritaine's large windows.

At the Espace Chapiteaux, near the Cité des Sciences and next to the canal Saint-Denis. Closest métro is the one at the Porte de la Villette. On until Wednesday, 31. December. Wednesday to Saturday at 20:30, Sundays at 16:00. No performances on Monday or Tuesday. Info. Tel.: 08 03 30 63 06; reservations, Tel.: 08 03 07 50 75 - toll numbers.

Other Circuses

Cirque Joseph Bouglione - modern circus with music by Beethoven and clowns from 'Clockwork Orange; poetic animals, acrobats, jugglers and trapeze artists are featured. Starting Thursday, 25. December, at the Square de l'Amiral-Bruix at Porte Maillot. Info. Tel.: 06 07 61 28 85.

Cirque National Alexis Gruss - traditional circus: after 23 seasons Alexis Gruss has new acts for this 24th one - on until 1. March 1998. At the allée de la Reine-Marguerite in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris 16. If you do not know where this is, be sure to phone. Info. Tel.: 01 40 67 76 10.

Cirque Pinder - Jean Richard - also a traditional circus: the two hour show features the new 'Etoiles de la Piste' and there are tigers too. The show continues until Sunday, 4. January. At the pelouse de Reuilly, in the Bois de Vincennes. Métros Porte de Charenton or Porte Dorée. Info. Tel.: 01 43 44 09 09.

Romanès' Cirque Tzigane - With a gypsy circus you can expect anything, and this one is playing in the passage Lathuile, just off the avenue de Clichy. The show continues until Sunday, 4. January. Paris 18, near métro place de Clichy. Info. Tel.: 01 43 87 16 35.

Cirque Arlette Gruss - 'a spectacle in the grand tradition of the circus' - with poetry, sensations, emotions, laughter - in short what you expect to get at the circus. Be quick though, this one moves on after Sunday, 21. December. Also at the pelouse de Reuilly in the Bois de Vincennes. Same métros: Porte de Charenton or Porte Dorée. Info. Tel.: 01 43 44 99 39.

Doll Museum

Teddies are seldom hyper-exciting, so if the circus represents high-anxiety for you or your kids, there is 'Il Etait une Fois, des Ours at des Poupées' which features over 150 teddies, with dolls as companions. This is a special exhibition for the season, put on at the Musée de la Poupée, in the Impasse Berthaud, which is somewhere near 22. rue Beaubourg, Paris 3. Info. Tel.: 01 42 72 73 11.

Events in the Ile-de-France

Fontainbleau - 'Fêtes de Noël' - several events will be taking place outdoors, from Saturday, 20. December until Wednesday, 24. December. Info. Tel: 01 60 74 99 99.

Rambouillet - 'Festival de Chants et Parade des Rois Mages' - on Sunday, 21 December. Info. Tel.: 01 48 13 70 70. Bon Marche window

Poissy - 'Noël au Musée' - Exhibition of Christmas toys at Poissy's famous toy museum - the Musée du Jouet. Runs through to 8. February 1998. Info. Tel.: 01 39 65 06 06.

Another episode from the Bon Marché's story told in windows.

Mantes-la-Jolie - 'Marché de Noël' - place de l'Abbé Porcaro. Until Wednesday, 24. December. Info. Tel.: 01 34 78 81 00 or 01 34 78 97 72.

Saint-Germain-en-Laye - 'Marché de Noël' - near the exit of the RER 'A.' Until Wednesday, 31. December. Info. Tel.: 01 30 87 21 70.

Saint-Germain-en-Laye - 'Concerts de l'Avent' - Eglise Saint-Germain, on the place Charles de Gaulle. Last date: Sunday, 21. December. Info. Tel.: 01 30 87 21 70.

Saint-Germain-en-Laye - 'Concerts de Noël - at the théâtre Alexandre Dumas; one date only: Saturday, 27. December. Info. Tel.: 01 30 87 07 07.

Souppes-sur-Loing - 'Marché de Noël' - at the place de la République. Saturday 20. December and Sunday, 21. December. Info. Tel.: 01 64 78 57 77.

Versailles - 'Et les Organistes de la Cour,' with Ton Koopman. In the Royal Chapel at 17:30 on Saturday, 20. December. With 'plain-chant.' Reservations required - Tel.: 01 39 20 78 00.

Versailles - Goldini's 'Les Jumeaux Vénitiens' won two Molière awards; one for best actor. Performances Friday, 26. December and Saturday, 27. December. At the Théätre Montansier. Info Tel.: 01 39 24 05 06.

Versailles - variety performance featuring 'Chevallier-Laspalès.' Performances Tuesday, 30. December and Wednesday, 31. December. At the Théätre Montansier. Info Tel.: 01 39 24 05 06.

Issy-les-Moulineaux - 'Corrida de Noël' may not have bulls, but is supposed to be 'sportif.' Wednesday, 24. December. Métro stop: the line 12's Mairie d'Issy. Info. Tel.: 01 40 95 65 43.

Weasel Out of Responsibility Note:

This abbreviated program has been complied from the December version of the Paris Tourist Office's 'Selection' and other sources. Whatever else I've been able to turn up by chance has been added. Please take note that about 2,000 other events are not included in this short list.

The 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.

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