Opera, Ballet, Theatre,
Concerts and Events

view Samaritaine

The view between two of Samaritaine's
buildings, towards the Pont-Neuf.

The Paris Program - Noël 1997 - Part III

Paris:- Thursday, 18. December 1997:- New information has been added to this program for this issue. The program is for those who may be intending to visit Paris over the coming holiday season; but if you can't make it, you are perfectly free to read it too. This program, with possible further updates and with out-of-date events deleted, will be repeated in 1997's last remaining issue.

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 crèches 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.

Fun de Noël

An ice-skating rink has replaced last year's crèche in the place in front of Paris' Hôtel de Ville, and for good measure two merry-go-rounds have also been added.

The rink itself has two round ends joined by a loop, giving skaters an impression of going somewhere. Rental of skates is 30 francs. Rides on the merry-go-rounds are free. All of this is within a decor of pines and lights on the city hall and there is plenty of space both for skating and watching your loved ones take tumbles doing it. Open from 9:00 to 22:00, until Sunday, 11. January 1998.

There are many other 'manèges de Noël' located around Paris; plus there is a giant ferris wheel at place de la Concorde.

The merry-go-rounds can be found at the place de la Bourse - Paris 2, Square du Temple - Paris 3, by the Square at Saint-Médard - Paris 5, in the place Saint-Suplice - Paris 6, at the place Joffre - Paris 7, the location of the one in Paris 9 is still unknown, at the corner of the rue Jean-Poulmarch and the quai de Valmy - Paris 10, at the Mairie of the 11th arrondissement, in the avenue Daumesnil near the Mairie of the 12th, in the place de l'Italie - Paris 13, at the place de Brancusi - Paris 14, in the place Raoul-Dautry, at the Gare Montparnasse - Paris 15, at the place du Trocadéro - Paris 16, the place du Docteur-Félix-Lobigeois - Paris 17, in the square Willette - Paris 18, at the Mairie of the 19th and also at the Mairie of the 20th arrondissement.

Christmas Markets

Maison d'Alsace - features traditional seasonal 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.

'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

Concertsolo - Un Nôel Russe, un Nôel Basque - features the Choeur Gal. Lafayette window 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 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.

Singer: Françoise Pollet sang for the Pope at the Champ-de-Mars on 21. August and for the homage for Maria Callas on 11. September; and now this soprano will sing for you on the evening of Tuesday, 23. December, together with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio-France, directed by Marek Janowski. Planned is the final scene from the Chevalier à la Rose, by Strauss; her favorite role.

Unique performance: Tuesday, 23. December, at the Salle Pleyel, 252. rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, Paris 8. Info. Tel.: 01 45 61 53 00.


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 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 Samaritaine 'thing' 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: 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: 22, 23, 25, 26, 29 and 31. December. A performance starting at 15:00 is on 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: 22, 23, 26 and 29. 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 at 19:30 are on the following days: 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 30 and 31. December. A performance starting at 16:00 is on 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.

Palais des Sports, Porte de Versailles, Paris 15

Starmania! is the name of a French rock-opera, written by Michel Berger and Luc Plamondon, which has been playing in Paris for five years - and I have just been told it is very good. It has a partially new troupe; acrobats, special effects, surprises, dancing of course; and is directed by Lewis Furey.

According to posters in the métro, the last performance is Sunday, 4. January 1998. It is on at 20:30 from Tuesday to Saturday, and at 16:00 on Saturday and Sundays. Seats are from about 150 to 240 francs. At the Palais des Sports, right beside Paris-Expo at the Porte de Versailles. Info. Tel.: 01 44 68 69 70.

Gymnase Marie-Bell, Boulevard de Bonne-Nouvelle, Paris 10

Piaf, Je t'Aime is a show which evokes the life and times of Edith Piaf. Nathalie Lhermitte is the lead singer and she is assisted by 30 actors, singers and musicians. This is like a musical biography, and was written by Roland Riber and Jean-Louis Marquer.

Seats cost from 120 to 230 francs. Performances are at 20:30 from Tuesday to Saturday; and at 16:30 on Saturday and Sundays. Théâtre du Gymnase Marie-Bell, 38, boulevard de Bonne-Nouvelle, Paris 10. Info. Tel.: 01 42 46 79 79.


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 Bon Marche window 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 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. An afternoon performance at 15:30 is on 28. December. Evening performances are at 20:30 on 27, 30 and 31. December. At the Salle Pleyel, 252. rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, Paris 8. Info. Tel.: 01 45 61 53 00.

La Reine Contrefaite is based on an Irish tale, which is like saying it is a tall tale - for four-year-olds and up. Produced by the Companie l'Olifant for the Théâtre des Marionettes; it is playing at the Auditorium Saint-Germain, 4. rue Félibien, Paris 6. On until Saturday, 3. January. For times and exceptions, Tel. Info.: 01 44 07 37 43 or 01 44 64 79 70.

Sindbad le Marin is a musical comedy for five-year-olds and up. This is about Sinbad's extraordinary voyage, and it is performed by Les Tréteaux de la Pleine Lune. Written and directed by Nedeljko Grujic. On daily until Sunday, 4. January; and at 15:00 on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Phone for evening times, if any. At the Espace Paris Plaine, 13. rue du Général-Guillaument, Paris 15. Info. Tel.: 01 40 43 01 82.


Big Joe Turner - blues - two shows, at 22:30 and 00:30, from 26. December to 10. January; except Sundays and 1. January. At the 'Jazz-Club Lionel Hampton' in the hotel Méridien-Etoile, 31. boulevard Gouvion-St-Cyr, Paris 17 - beside the Palais de Congrés at Porte Maillot. Tel. 01 40 68 30 42.

Tango y Flamenco

Tango Pasion - The tango celebrates its 100th anniversary and a current revival. Choreography by Hector Zaraspe, orchestra Sexteto Mayor and produced by José Libertella and Luis Stazo. From Monday, 22. December to Sunday, 11. January 1998; no performances on 24. and 29. December and 8. and 10. January. Réveillon show on 31. December. Nightly at 20:30; two shows on 28. December and first, fouth and 11. January, at 15:00 and 20:30. At the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, 15. avenue Montaigne, Paris 8. Info. Tel.: 01 49 52 50 50.

Chants et Danses Flamenco 'Solo Flamenco' - With Carmen Linares, Cantaora; El Moraito, guitar; Eduardo Serrano 'El Guito,' dancer; and with the Compania de Danza Flamenca. Dates are from Tuesday, 23. December to Wednesday, 31. December. Times are at 20:00 except on 25 and 28. December when there are shows at 15:00, and on 27. December when there are shows at 15:00 and 20:00. Théâtre du Châtelet, place du Châtelet, Paris 1. Info. Tel.: 01 40 28 28 40.

Red Hots - on 25. December:

Cuban Jam sessions with Cuarteto Son de Oro - the latest Cuban group, playing its first time in France. Led by bassist Gilberto Moncada, this group has guitars and percussion for a loud, good-time sound. At Le Java, 105. rue Faubourg du Temple, Paris 10. 23:00, Entry 80 francs plus 26 francs: maybe totals 100 francs. Info. Tel.: 01 42 02 20 52.

Red Hots, Variados - on 25. December:

P. Fournier at the Chapiteau Sept Roses, on the quai de la Seine, Canal d'Ourcq, Paris 19. Info. Tel.: 01 40 34 04 04.
Orient Express Moving Schnorers at the Auditorium Saint-Germain, 4. rue Félibien, Paris 6. Info. Tel.: 01 46 33 87 03.
Les Yeux Noirs at L'Européen at 3/5. rue Biot, Paris 17. Info. Tel.: 01 43 87 97 13.


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 model electric train 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.

Gamma's 30 Years is an impressive photo exhibition, representing the best of Gamma's photojournalists, with some truly amazing and wonderful photographs. Besides hardcore news photos, there are a lot of excellent photos of Paris in this exhibition, which is bigger than it looks. In the reception office of the Hôtel de Ville, at 29. rue de Rivoli, across from the BHV. Not open Sundays, 25. December or 1. January. Otherwise open daily from 9:30 to 18:00 - but only until Saturday, 3. January 1998. No entry charge.

Montmartre Toujours exposes the Vieux Montmartre in a show assembled by the Société d'Historie et d'Archéologie. Centuries of local history, myths; religious aspects and Montmartre's famous bloodbaths and revolutions; up to the 20th century's real-estate speculation, are on show - as well as the works of the usual gang of artists. At the Musée de Montmartre, 12. rue Cortot, Paris 18. Daily from 11:00 to 18:00; closed Mondays. Info. Tel.: 01 46 06 61 11.

New Years Day Parade

La Grande Parade de Paris will take place for the sixth time on New Years Day, Thursday, 1. January 1998, starting around 14:00. This street parade in the popular tradition beings together 3000 youths from around the world; musicians, jugglers, dancers, acrobats and pom-pom girls - and takes place in the streets of Montmartre. Starts from the corner of boulevard Rochechouart and rue des Martyers. Don't miss this and I won't either. Info. Tel.: 01 43 65 10 10.

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 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 wide Samaritaine window rather than parody; respecting its roots and its traditions, while being contemporary.

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.

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, until Wednesday, 24. December. Info. Tel: 01 60 74 99 99.

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.

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 Noël - at the théâtre Alexandre Dumas; one date only: Saturday, 27. December. Info. Tel.: 01 30 87 07 07.

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.

Updated Program Note:

This holiday program - which has been shortened by deleting events with 'past-due' dates, but lengthened by adding new items - has been complied mainly from the December version of the Paris Tourist Office's 'Selection' and other sources, such as the magazine, 'Nova.' Whatever else I've been able to turn up by chance has been added. Please take note that about 1,876 other events are not included in this 'selective' list.

The telephone numbers have not been verified; some of them may lead to robot-answering computers, which may waste your time and money.

The photos with this week's program are of Paris department store windows, but I have left off captions because the BHV - one of Paris' major stores - has no display windows, and therefore would not be mentioned in a caption. To compensate, there is a photo of the BHV elsewhere in this issue.

If you think there is some event happening over the holidays and you do not find it listed here, be sure to write to ask for further information. If what you want is on hand, details will be sent directly to you via email.

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