Friday, June 1, 2012

Théâtre des Champs-Èlysées

Sometimes we really are rewarded for having had a difficult week and that was exactly what happened to me. As my stressful week was coming to end, and no plans to look forward to on the weekend, I unexpectedly received a call from my friend, Marci, who just happened to have an extra opera ticket for Così fan tutte at the Théâtre des Champs-Èlysées for that evening. The timing could not have been better so off I went to experience Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s delightful opera. 
The opera, Così fan tutte, was first performed in 1790 at the Burgtheater in Vienna. The first performance in the United States was in 1922 at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. The title is literally translated as “Thus do all women”.  However, it is usually translated as “Woman are like that”. The opera is light and funny and this production was perfect as directed by Jérémie Rhorer and Eric Génovèse.

I had never been to the Théâtre des Champs-Èlysées situated at 15 avenue Montaigne in Paris and not on the Champs -Èlysées at all. I found it to be extraordinarily beautiful and very well maintained. The space is ideally suited for contemporary music, dance and small opera productions. A relatively small orchestra pit is one limiting factor for many performances.
The construction of the building was completed in 1913 and it is one of very few major examples of Art Deco in Paris. The architect was a frenchman named Auguste Perret. I found it fascinating that the building is made of reinforced concrete. Something that I associated with modern construction. This technique of building was chosen in part due to the proximity to the Seine and to the very poor quality of the subsoil.
I hope that you try to attend a performance at the Théâtre des Champs-Èlyséesas as part of your Paris experience. To give you some help in planning, here is their website for information on upcoming events: 
Hope to see you soon at the opera!

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