Vingt Paris’ David Britain fills us in on classical music concerts, ballets, and operas you won’t want to miss in Paris this fall…
Text by David Britain
You may know of the hazy jazz dungeons in the 5ème, and scene-y indie rock clubs in the 20ème, but don’t forget about classical music! Below, you’ll find select performances worth getting excited for…
Everyone should see the timeless classic La Bohème at least once in their life. The opportunity to see Puccini’s Paris-set opera in Paris itself makes it all the more exciting and, dare I say, romantic. You can catch it starting October 29th at Opéra Bastille. Opéra de Massy is also showing a Puccini opera, Tosca, on the 6th and 8th of November, with the support of the Orchestre de Radio France.
For something more contemporary, Palais Garnier presents the work of three choreographers as three short ballets entitled Amoveo / Répliques / Genus (between the 7th-22nd of November). It will certainly be interesting to see how the dance is paired with extracts from Philip Glass’s minimal opera, Einstein on the Beach, and the microtonal haze of Romanian/Hungarian composer Ligeti.
Interior of the Palais Garnier. Photo: spirit-of-paris.com
If microtonal haze doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, the Maison de Radio France is presenting a series of concerts called Hommage à Frank Zappa. Frank Zappa was one of those rare musicians who transcended genre barriers, so it is fitting that some of his eccentric and varied output is paid tribute to by Peter Eotvos in the form of a series of classical concerts (between the 13th-15th of November).
A few years ago, the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela took the BBC proms by storm with their incredibly energetic approach to orchestral performance. That concert brought tears to the eyes of Placido Domingo — and prompted Simon Rattle, conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, to describe the youth orchestra’s work as the most important work in classical music anywhere in the world. This is because the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra is the public figurehead of a social music programme started in 1975. With the aim of helping underprivileged and criminalised youths, ‘El Sistema’, as it is now known, runs over 200 orchestras across Venezuela. This Friday they come to the Salle Pleyel to put their spin on Ravel, Berlioz and Castellanos. Giving thousands of young musicians something to be proud of, it is a concert not to be missed.