Here Are Some Cultural Highlights Coming to Paris Soon
The upcoming fall and winter Parisian cultural season is the prime time for visitors who love visual and performing arts. Paris is one of the cultural capitals of the world and each year it puts on a show for locals and visitors. There is no need to understand French to enjoy paintings and listen to music. However, drama can be a little daunting. But, if you love to attend plays, by all means enjoy the scenery and the acting.
Along with the art being exhibited and performed, the buildings housing these shows and performances are worth exploring and admiring in their own right. The cultural opportunities in Paris are pretty much endless. But, here are a few highlights from the upcoming fall and winter Parisian cultural season.
National Picasso Museum Paris (Musée National Picasso-Paris)
Picasso Masterpieces! is a new exhibit in the newly re-opened museum. Out of his extraordinarily prolific career, the museum investigates what it means to be a masterpiece. Some of the pieces are exhibited for the first time in Paris.
Picasso. Blue and Rose. In collaboration with the Picasso Museum, the Musée d’Orsay is exhibiting paintings, sculptures and drawings in a show of his work from 1900-1906. The works are arranged showing the artist’s development into the blue and rose periods. Extraordinary works from when Pablo Picasso was very young.
Orsay through the Eyes of Julian Schnabel. For its first show of contemporary art, the Musée d’Orsay chose Julian Schnabel to interpret the collection. The filmmaker and painter includes works from the museum’s collection and also presents some of his own paintings.
Magnificent Venice!, Miró and Michael Jackson. The Grand Palais is staging exhibitions this fall and winter season that should entice people with a variety of tastes. Magnificent Venice! explores Europe and the arts in the 18th century. While, Miró displays nearly 150 works by the surrealist Spanish master, Joan Miró. Also, an exhibition on Michael Jackson subtitled, “On the Wall”. It explores the cultural impact of Michael Jackson. Who is in for some MJ?
Paris Photo. The annual international photograph exhibition in the great hall of the Grand Palais. Most noteworthy, works from well-known masters as well as up and coming stars are shown by galleries from all over the world. Get ready to be overwhelmed by photographs and see the magnificent glass ceiling.
The City of Paris’ fine art museum has a few exhibitions that may attract a more focused group of admirers. Jean Jacques Lequeu (1757-1826) Builder of Fantasy, shows the complete collection of several hundred drawings by the artist, for the first time. Another show features the work of the Belgian artist, Fernad Khnopff (1858-1921) The Master of Enigma. Surprises await those who venture into the Petit Palais.
Under the pyramid in the Louvre, a contemporary art installation sure to blow you away. Kohei Nawa’s Throne, is a monumental gilded work combing modern technology and ancient symbols.
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Along with its permanent collection, visit this museum for the amazing building and shows on Zao Wou-Ki and Ron Amir. The huge rooms are just the place for these artists who produce over-size work. Zao Wou-Ki paints and draws huge images. And, this collection of Amir’s large format color photos provide insight into the living conditions of refugees from Sudan and Eritrea.
Opéra National de Paris
Mid-September begins the opera season in Paris. Productions are being staged at the Opéra Basitlle and the Palais Garnier that include repertory works of Tristan und Isolde, La Traviata, and l’Elisir d’Amore. And, new productions this fall and winter include Les Huguenots, Bérénice, Il Primo Omicidio and Les Troyens. And, on December 30 and 31st, the Paris Opera will begin a celebration of its 350th year. Yes, 350th! The Paris Opera was begun by Louis XIV in 1669.
Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
Verdi’s La Traviata is the main opera production this fall. And, the beautiful theater which opened in with the performance of Nijinsky’s Rite of Spring. Imagine being there then! Chamber Orchestra of Paris also performs in this space with a variety of scheduled appearances. The theater also schedules vocal recitals, concert productions of operas, classic and contemporary dance and even Sunday Morning concerts!
Orchestre de Paris
The Paris Orchestra (Orchestra de Paris) performs symphonic works in its new home, the organic and innovative Philharmonie de Paris in the Parc de la Villette. Works by Beethoven, Britten, Berlioz and the rest of the alphabet of composers of grand music.
Palais Opera Ballet
Over at the Palais Garnier, dance lovers can visit the fabled opera house which is a venue for the Paris Opera Ballet. See Decadance, Tribute to Jerome Robbins, Cinderella and even an interesting succession of Goecke/Lidberg/Cherkaoui. This last is a work that displays dance and theater by three very different choreographers. No French language skills needed to enjoy the ballet.
Coinciding with Picasso. Blue and Rose and Picasso Masterpiece!, the Théâtre du Châtelet will present Picasso Circus in the Musée d’Orsay for people to learn about circus acts, meet performers and see demonstrations.
Théâtre de la Ville
Sambasô, Divine Dance is a riveting “ritual dance … performed by three generations of the Nomura family of actors who glorify and revolutionize the “kyôgen” tradition.” Stage design by the renown photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. The Théâtre de la Ville is closed for renovations, but its events are being staged around town, and this one is in the Espace Cardin.
This acting troupe was formed by Louis XIV in 1680. They perform in several venues, but the luxe Salle Richelieu theater in the Palais Royal complex provides regal seating to watch dramatic performances. Tune your ear to French while watching the dramas of The Mistress of the Inn by Carlo Goldoni, Lucrezia Borgia by Victor Hugo, or Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
Others Worth Investigating
Of course – organ concerts in magnificent churches!
And, for even more performing art events, take a look at these:
Théâtre National de Chaillot which is the National Theater of Dance
It is time to start training if you want to participate in the Paris Marathon 2019!
On April 14, 2019, the 43rd Paris Marathon (Marathon de Paris) will wind through Paris. The Paris Marathon is one of the most popular in Europe with nearly 60,000 participants. What runner doesn’t want to take advantage of a generally flat course zig-zagging through the most beautiful city in the world? Need a reason to run? Here are five good ones.
1. Experience Paris by Foot Race
Want to see the monuments of Paris by foot? The Paris Marathon winds its way through the streets of Paris and its green spaces. With a distance of 26.219 miles (42.195 kilometres), this race is an opportunity to cover lots of ground that many people never see. The race is on vehicle-free streets. While the exact route changes somewhat each year, be sure that the route will pass the major monuments, track parts of the Seine and take runners to areas they have never seen. You can register here.
2. Get in Fantastic Shape
Is it time for you to get in shape? Need a goal? The Paris Marathon would be a great one! Flowers blooming, friends from all over the world running alongside, Parisians lining the streets cheering you on. On the official website, download training guides, a practical guide to a first marathon and everything else you may need for the marathon, available in English and French. It is meters rather than yards, miles or feet, so get out your calculator if you need to. Of course there are many other training methods to get you ready for the Parish Marathon. But, start now.
3. Support Green Paris
In keeping with the Parisian emphasis on being green and sustainable, the Paris Marathon encourages everyone to be green! The Paris Marathon’s aim is to be a carbon-neutral marathon by 2019. The official website features a tab entitled, Eco Friendly. This section explains the Paris Marathon’s efforts to get teens (“Marateeners”) involved in sports and exercise.
The Paris Marathon encourages, “An Integrated Approach” for finding sustainable accommodation, sharing good practices, innovating for future generations and many other positive ideas for sustainability. Want to know if your Parisian hotel is green? Find out here.
And, what about those 560,000 Vittel water bottles? Waste Management is a section within the Eco Friendly tab that explains how the Paris Marathon manages trash. 500 waste sorting bins will line the route to collect water bottles, discarded food packaging, and anything else recyclable as well as trash. These are not only for the participants, but also for the fans! Besides recycling waste, runners are also encouraged to wear clothes made from cotton or recycled and recyclable materials.
4. Not a Runner? Volunteer or Be a Spectator!
Don’t want to run, but want to volunteer? The official response is: “With pleasure! We’d be mad to refuse enthusiastic helpers – maybe you can encourage others to help too? Bring your good humour and generous nature and join our hundreds of volunteers to help make this event run smoothly.” If you want to volunteer, contact Lucas Prado and Arthur Thévenot or email: [email protected].
Even if you are not a runner or cannot commit a day to volunteer, this mass event can be fun to watch! And, you can walk along the streets that are closed to traffic. Keep in mind that with 60,000 runners, available rooms and restaurants may be hard to find during the Paris Marathon. So, if you are planning a trip to Paris around April 14, 2019, take the Paris Marathon into account, book early and expect throngs of people.
5. Reward for Crossing the Finish Line?
Bragging rights – of course. But, reward yourself with a magnificent meal in a celebrated Parisian restaurant. Research and reserve now. Nearly 60,000 participants plus families, friends and spectators will be celebrating after the race. Following your recovery, what better reward than a terrific meal with fellow racers, family and friends.
Bonus. Photos Forever!
Enjoy the photos of you and your friends competing in the famous Paris Marathon for the rest of your life – Priceless!
Ready to Commit to the Paris Marathon?
On September 4, the Paris Marathon will begin accepting registrations. You can register here: http://www.schneiderelectricparismarathon.com/en/registration/participate
Bastille Day and the World Cup final collide on the weekend of July 14, 2018! On Saturday, France will celebrate Bastille Day. Then on Sunday, France battles Croatia for the World Cup.
What is Bastille Day?
For those of us celebrating Bastille Day, and for those who want to know more about it, here is a short description. Bastille Day, in French “la Fête Nationale ” or “le 14 juillet,” is an annual national public holiday. It celebrates the storming of the Bastille prison on July 14, 1789. Because there were only a few prisoners there at the time, the storming was mostly symbolic. However, this was the start of the overthrow of Louis XVI’s regime and the beginning of the Republic of France. That means it is a big event for all the non-royalists in France.
During the years of the revolution, the prison was completely torn apart and never rebuilt. The site of the Bastille prison is now the Place de la Bastille. At its center is the July Column (“Colonne de Juillet”). Rather than commemorating the storming of the Bastille, this column recognizes those who fought in the revolution of July, 1830.
A little confusing, but taken together, the square and the column honor and remember commoners who fought for freedom from oppression. Atop the July Column is Auguste Dumont’s gilded statue, “Génie de la Liberté,” or Spirit of Freedom. Appropriate, don’t you think? Another place to see and feel some of the intensity of the emotions of the people is in the Louvre. Take a look at Delacroix’s moving painting, “Liberty Leading the People.” Delacroix used the July Revolution for his inspiration.
Bastille Day Celebrations
Along with the landmarks commemorating the revolutions, Bastille Day is a celebration of freedom. It is much like our Independence Day. In Paris, a gigantic French flag, or “tricolore,” is flown within the grand arch of the Arc de Triomphe. The French military parades down the avenue des Champs- Élysées. Mounted cavalry, foot soldiers, regimental bands and officers in vehicles follow each other in one of the oldest annual military parades. French air force planes will fly overhead. And, people will generally make merry and enjoy the show put on for them.
Like our own July 4 celebrations, Bastille Day in France features fireworks lighting up the night sky, neighborhoods having street parties and families and friends gathering for traditional French meals. On the Champs-de-Mars, a concert will entertain thousands. And across the whole country, the Marseillaise, or the French National Anthem, will play over the radio waves and bands will perform it repeatedly.
As a visitor, the festivities can be a lot of fun. But do not expect many shops, museums or restaurants to be open. This includes the Eiffel Tower which was built as a landmark celebrating the 100th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille. It will be closed in preparation of a grand fireworks display.
Around the World
Many places around the globe celebrate French heritage on Bastille Day. Among other more significant events, restaurants have special dinners and wine-pairings, people fly French flags, and, in New Orleans, waiters participate in races in the French Quarter. All in good fun celebrating Bastille Day!
For the World Cup, we hope there will be even more celebration in the French capital!
What does your community do to celebrate Bastille Day?
Are you thinking Paris is too far away for the weekend? Then head to New York City to explore exhibits on French gardens and Versailles. That’s right, through the end of July, go see Paris in New York City! Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence and Visitors to Versailles 1682 – 1789. Both mounted in the halls of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and full of treasures from France.
Exhibition #1 – Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence
In Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence, The Met, “explores horticultural developments that reshaped the landscape of France and grounded innovative movements—artistic and green—in an era that gave rise to Naturalism, Impressionism, and Art Nouveau.” All of these artistic movements are well-represented through works presented in this exhibition.
Past urbanites are no different from today’s. People living in developed cities flock to gardens and parks to be outdoors, enjoy the air, stretch out in the wide open space and delight in the beauty of nature. To illustrate this love of gardens, the exhibition features a wide range. Sections include Parks for the Public, Revival of Floral Still Life, Portrait in the Garden and Private Gardens.
Exhibits of Ceramics, Drawings and Paintings to Photography
Choosing works from its extensive holdings, The Met displays drawings, etchings, paintings, glassware, ceramics and even early photographs. Although the objects show gardens and parks in other parts of France, the majority is focused on Paris and surrounding areas. Garden lovers will delight in seeing works depicting Fontainebleau, Parc Monceau, Bagatelle, Jardin du Luxembourg, Tuileries, Versailles, along with many other well-known and even less well-known gardens.
Love still life paintings of flowers and garden scenes? Then this exhibition is for you. Works by heavy hitters like, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Cézanne, Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, August Renoir, Eugène Atget, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Mary Cassatt and many more hang from the walls.
Do 18th century Sèvres porcelain vases with garden scenes painted on them get you going? What about Art Nouveau glass with elegant flower designs in the glass? Do you enjoy the details of garden plans and garden furnishings? Then this is exhibit is also for you! They are all there in cases and on the walls. Really, anyone who is at all interested in gardens in Paris and in France would enjoy this exhibition.
Even if you cannot make it to New York to enjoy the show in person, the exhibition features an accompanying catalogue.
Exhibition #2 – Visitors to Versailles
In Visitors to Versailles 1682 – 1789, The Met, “highlights the experiences of travelers from 1682, when Louis XIV moved his court to Versailles, to 1789, when the royal family was forced to leave the palace and return to Paris.” The objects demonstrating this experience range from souvenirs for the visitors to gifts to the royalty and what the visitors wore and saw.
Sections of the exhibit include, Incognito and Private Visitors, To See the King, Getting Dressed for Court, the Gardens and Going to Versailles. The dedicated rooms in the museum present men’s suits and hunting clothes, women’s court dresses, riding habits, shoes, ball gowns and fans, sculpture, tapestries, rugs, miniature portraits in diamond surrounds, hats, swords, military outfits, furniture, porcelain and objects of art. Also, very interestingly, paintings of visitors.
And, it is convenient that the garden exhibit in another section of the museum is on at a similar time. Gardens at the palace were a major part of court life. You will see multiple illustrations of gardens. Royalty wanted to be outside too. Versailles had unending garden delights for royalty and visitors.
Everything is Over the Top, In a Good Way
Like Versailles itself, nearly everything on display is over the top. Many things are gilded, handmade items have the most intricate detailing, master craftsmen used precious stones and rare and exotic materials – it is all here. Just take a look at a set of ivory buttons decorated with scenes of Versailles and the gardens – talk about limited edition. The description explains that the buttons, “intended for a man’s coat may have appealed to tourists.” Of course, they would! Fascinating. And, beautiful.
Along with many items focused on the multiple kings called by the name, “Louis,” Marie Antoinette figures in the exhibition. Likewise, multiple objects depict the visitors to Versailles. For example, a Tunisian ambassador, several Asian dignitaries, and would be Americans, like, Benjamin Franklin! Paintings of Ben and even some of his clothes are on display. From 1776 until 1785, Benjamin Franklin was the representative to France of the American colonies that revolted against England. He was at the French court all the time.
Adding to master works from The Met’s holdings, more than 50 lenders, including the Château de Versailles, offered works to the show.
Don’t miss the statue of a monkey riding a goat!
Like Exhibition #1, even if you cannot make it to New York to enjoy the show in person, the exhibition features an accompanying catalogue. On the cover is an illustration of the gardens of Versailles and visitors enjoying their time in the landscape.
Praise for the exhibition: ” A fascinating window into how the court would have appeared to foreigners and day trippers alike…. ” -Artnet
Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence
Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met Fifth Avenue)
Address: 1000 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10028
When: March 12 – July 29, 2018
Admission: Entrance fee for museum which includes exhibit
Official website: https://metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2018/public-parks-private-gardens
Visitors to Versailles 1682 – 1789
Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met Fifth Avenue)
Address: 1000 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10028
When: April 16 – July 29, 2018
Admission: Entrance fee for museum which includes exhibit
Official website: https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2018/visitors-to-versailles
Jardins, Jardin is a unique event in the heart of Paris. Locals and visitors get to squeeze as much as possible about gardening into a long weekend. The nonprofit l’Association Jardins, Jardins, in partnership with the Louvre and the Tuileries Gardens, puts on this amazing plant show right in the middle of the Tuileries. For the 15th annual event in 2018, both professionals and lovers of urban gardens and outdoor design convene here to learn and share information and new ideas about gardens, plants, landscape design, the environment and more.
Professionals, Garden Lovers and Casually Interested
The official website claims 24,000 visitors to the 30 artistic displays that create huge gardens spaces, balconies and terraces. Professional landscape designers and new talent create these installations for public view. They range in size from about 500 square feet to over 2100 square feet. The garden spaces are astounding!
Plus, there are 100 vendors who display and sell garden art, books, furniture, plants and everything to do with gardens. Think you may need an urban hen house? Maybe take a look at the farm life you can have on a less-than-backyard scale. What about water fountains for your courtyard? See ones like you have never seen before. Pots and garden statuary, lighting and irrigation, all like you have never imagined.
Here are some of the exhibitors: Mama Petula, Les Fermes de Gally, la Ferme de Saint Denis, Horticulture et Jardins, Aquaphyte Design, Stèphane Cachelin et ses Chapotelets, Olive Delanoy, Botanique Ėditions, C’juste, Hortus Focus and many more.
Turning the Tuileries into an Exhibition Hall
It is really an extraordinary feat to make this experience happen in the middle of historic gardens originally created by Marie de Medici in the 1500s. Above all, Jardins, Jardin claims to be a laboratory of ideas with experimental work and ideas to exchange. Innovation is encouraged and rewarded with prizes. The event is respectful of the past in Paris, but looking toward the future – and we all get to benefit.
Along with garden installations and shopping, Jardins, Jardin features workshops, demonstrations, family activities and enjoying the beauty outdoors in Paris Spring time. Even more, eat from a Parisian food truck!
What makes it special: Living creations by famous and regular gardeners that push the boundaries of gardening.
Nearest Métro: Place de la Concorde, Tuileries, cross over the Seine from Musée d’Orsay (also RER C at Musée d’Orsay)
When: May 31 – June 3, 2018
Open: 10am to 7pm
Official website: www.jardinsjardin.com