Sleeping Beauty at the Paris Opera House

Sleeping Beauty,  Opéra de Paris I really wanted to title this post “David Hallberg’s Amazing Coup de Pied” but I wasn’t sure if that would be a title anyone would really understand, let alone click on to read the post.

Chéri took me to the ballet at the Opera de Paris (this time at the Bastille opera house). I was disappointed that the show wasn’t being held at my favorite Paris monument (Palais Garnier), but I do find the seats more comfortable at the Bastille location. The ballet we watched : Sleeping Beauty. The choreography by Rudolf Noureev and the music by Tchaikovsky, it couldn’t be anything less than a pure delight. I was beyond excited. It has been a while since I have found the time to go to see a performance and I was starting to miss the incredible shows the company puts on. The costumes and sets are always at the height of perfection, made with talented hands and designed by great stage artists.
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VIP Girls Night at the Races!

Champagne and Petit Fours at the track I got invited to a fun VIP treatment soirée at the racetrack at the Vincennes Hippodrome recently, and so I thought I’d make a girls-night-out of it and brought along my best friend. And we had a ball!

An Evening At The Races from Prete Moi Paris on Vimeo.

It was a Tuesday night, and Tuesday nights are not typically packed with excitement… so this was a welcome spark to the week topped off with an AMAZING sunset (the sun had been somewhat of a rare thing this Spring).

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Gala Concert & Cocktail : Giveaway!

Image credit : Sinfonietta

Image credit : Sinfonietta

Sinfonietta Paris is a new Chamber Music orchestra and the brainchild endeavor of Michael Boone, former head of the music department at the University of Colorado. I met Michael at the Kooka Boora café at the same time I met Very-Intersting-and-talented-dude (which you’ll read about in my next  post!). Just another proof that Paris still attracts artists and amazing people with talent!

An artist and “activist” of sorts who wants to make sure classical music creation is something that is perpetuated more by young musicians and music professionals; he has created Sinfonietta. “Composed of nine to seventeen young professional artists who have trained at many of the world’s finest conservatories and festivals, Sinfonietta Paris is a vibrant new chamber orchestra based in Paris, France, dedicated expressly to musicians and soloists at the beginning of brilliant performing careers.” You can support them with donations here. Continue reading

Paris Baroque – Ouverture Magnifique

Photo : Prête-Moi Paris

I wrote about it in October, and now it is here : The newest music festival on scene in Paris just opened last night (November 23, 2012) with a beautiful and spectacular concert in the Saint Sulpice church. The Simphonie du Marais directed by Hugo Reyne, played a program of “Sacred Music from Richelieu to Louis XIV” that included Lully, Michel-Richard Delalande, Guillaume Bouzignac and Marc-Antoine Charpentier. They opened with Cantate Domino of Bouzignac, a joyous but saddened song of triumph written about the siege at La Rochelle in 1628. The concert flowed through the pieces by Bouzignac on to a Te Deum by Charpentier. An intermission was granted and then we were rewarded with the Jubilate Deo ombis terra by Lully (1660). The concert climaxed at the end on the Te Deum of Delalande and we were even granted an encore piece!

J’en ai parlé en octobre, et voilà que c’est arrivé : Le tout dernier festival de musique à arriver à Paris s’est ouvert hier soir (Le 23 novemebre 2012) avec un concert spectaculaire dans l’église Saint Sulpice. La Simphonie du Marais sous la direction de Hugo Reyne, a joué un programme des “Musiques Sacrées de Richelieu à Louis XIV” qui incluait Lully, Michel-Richard Delalande, Guillaume Bouzignac et Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Le concert s’est ouvert avec la Cantate Domino de Bouzignac, une chanson à la fois joyeuse et triste écrite sur  le triomphe du siège de La Rochelle en 1628. Le concert se poursuivait sur les motets de Bouzignac et vers le Te Deum de Charpentier. Après l’entracte on a pu se délecter sur le Motet pour la Paix de Lully (1660). Le pic du concert est arrivé à la fin avec le Te Deum de Delalande et nous avons même eu le plaisir d’un bis! Continue reading

Festival Baroque – Paris

I discovered recently through a friend of Chéri’s that there is a new and first-of-it’s-kind event happening in Paris : a baroque music festival.

It immediately caught my attention and I feel it is imperative to share it with my lovely readers! I will be attending at least one concert from the festival, and if you are in Paris from November 23rd to December 9th I urge you to grab tickets! To listen to quality baroque music in some of the most architecturaly beautiful monumetns in Paris will be quite a treat, especailly as many of the places were meant to have music notes wafting over our heads in the lofty vouted ceilings.

Festival Baroque : YouTube ; Facebook page ; Twitter Continue reading

Saut Hermès – 2012

Recently I was let out of work early to go spend the rest of the day at the Saut Hermès! It was a glorious sunny day in Paris in the middle of March, and life felt like a million dollars. I walked from work to the Grand Palais where the 3 day jumping contest event was being held for the 3rd consecutive year. I love this building that was built for the World exposition of 1900 with a glass and steel ceiling, it has a yesteryear yet modern style that I never get tired of and reminds me of the Crystal Palace of London built for the World exposition of 1851. Continue reading

La Source – “Le public n’a pas de fesses”

I went to see the ballet La Source recently at the Garnier Opera house, one of my favorite places in Paris as many of you know! And I was once again dazzled and amazed by the beauty of the production they put on.

The phrase “Le public n’a pas de fesses” means literally that the audience doesn’t have a rear end (meaning, the public is so enthralled in the show that they do not feel how uncomfortable their rear end is in those seats!) That’s how I felt about this beautiful show. I didn’t feel my rear!

La Source, Opera De Paris

I was thrilled to discover Allister Madin in the role of Zaël, and elf of the water spirit Naïla, who was herself danced by Charline Giezendanner. Both of these two powerhouse dancers not only showed incredible technique and physical talent but they also had an acute sensibility for the characters they were portraying. Zaël is both zealous and secretive, “malin” as we would say in French. He carries the show on his green clad shoulders so well. And received thunderous applause as he took his bows. Miss Giezendanner was as graceful as a dewdrop and a fairy with the most delicate gestures that reached to the ends of her limbs.

Discover Allister Madin in this video :

Set in mythical Persia, the story involves a hunter, Djémil; The water spirit Naïla; her elf Zaël; Khan the emporer; and Nouredda who is to be promised to Khan by her brother Mozdock. It is a love story full of betrayals and hesitation, ruse and sacrifice. This ballet was first created in 1866 and has been revived by the one of the Opera house’s star dancers, Jean-Guillaume Bart. Eric Ruf created the magical set and Christian LaCroix designed the breathtaking costumes. See in the artists speak about their creations following video (in French).

Eric Ruf’s décor for this piece was captivating to me because he managed to create a magical fairy-like set that gives us the idea of water falls and foliage, simply by using typical things you would find in a theater : rope and red velvet. It seemed so fitting to use such elements, but they are so far removed from what they were meant to represent. Yet, it worked theatrical wonders on the imagination. It seems so natural coming from him though as he is based in theater, being from the Comédie Française theater. His décor oozes the stage theatrical inspiration. I fell in love with the work as the curtain rose. It was perfect.

La source

La source

(Sorry for the photo quality, I only had my phone camera on me. Find some better pictures at brieuc75 blog)

The costumes were just as stunning (if not more so) than the decor and the dancing. GORGEOUS creations by LaCroix that sparkled so much I thought I might need sunglasses! Crystals sewn into the silk and organza fabrics, shined under the theater lights like the sparkling sunlight on the sea or the twinkling Eiffel tower at midnight. Sumptuous and stunning, these creations are pure works of art. And the color! Oh my the color! LaCroix really does do color better than most designers. As he says in the video inserted above, he was fulfilling a childhood dream with these creations for the Opera de Paris.

Well he’s got me dreaming!
I left the Opera house in a ballerina la-la fairy land state-of-mind…

Shiatzy Chen – Deep Purple and the Blues – #PFW

Taiwanese designer, Shiatzy Chen took over the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris this past fashion week to show her Autumn-Winter 2011-2012 collection.

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A maze-like runway with deep moody lighting gave the spectators a significant amount of time to view each item even though they moved quite quickly.

The collection supposedly inspired by Anna Wintour and the chic working-girl type was full of black on bright silks as a dominant theme, as well as the Chinese art of embellishment,  cinched-waisted coats, white-work, fur and embroidered silks, all set to a deep purple tone that ended in a final wave of a single blue flowing gown. Shiatzy Chen is considered the “Chanel” brand of Taiwan, and focuses on luxury and aesthetics.
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Boudoir fashion – Zuhair Murad زهير مراد‎ #PFW

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Set in a swanky hôtel particulier in the très chic 8th arrondissement, the Zuhair Murad presentation felt more like an opulent cocktail party than a fashion presentation. Ladies in fur coats sipping champagne rubbing elbow with the photographers and the designer himself, while about 15 models models worked a lighted circuit around the room. White-gloved service floated around offering bubbly and petit fours, in a room with lounge chairs for guests overlooking a luscious garden (in the middle of Paris, yes) and a second salon for viewing…

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A white screen at one end and various chairs and seating arrangements were set up on the circumference of the room, where the models would sit for about one minute and then move over to the next chair, and would one by one pass in front of the white screen so that the photographers could get some great studio shot pictures of the clothing. As far as presentations go, this is the best idea I have seen yet.

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As for the designer, زهير مراد‎ , a Lebanese based artist (the Lebanese designers seem to be flocking to Paris fashion weeks these days), he certainly knows how to turn a woman into a goddess. He focuses on glamorous designs, haute couture, lavish creations and his work is pure luxury. With a boutique in Beirut, one in Paris and a showroom in Milan, and a list of Hollywood socialites and stars who wear his creations he’s fast become a red-carpet household name. It’s hard not to notice such extraordinary dresses that are fit for princesses.

The collection : ballet pinks and blacks with lace and chiffon and light airy creations, glamorous and stunning, with attention to the textures of fabrics, how the light plays on them, as well as deep plunging neck-lines and back-lines, long gowns and mini dresses that reveal almost the entire leg, lace that suggests not-so-discreetly the skin beneath… all with a silhouette that brings us back to what real stars used to look like, the Marylins, the Elizabeths, the Grace Kellys who had bodies worth dressing up. Enough with the waify baggy look, and more of this real lady look!

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Model : Kelsey Close

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Model : Kelsey Close

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Model : Kelsey Close

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Model : Kelsey Close

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Commuun – AWW1112 Paris Fashion Week

BACK TO BASICS

Set to music by Koji Miyakawa, the Commuun show started out with a “white is white” (production)  virginal palette and moved progressively towards an almost rainbow status, with a concentration on volumes and shapes displayed by ample ruffling mostly around the bust. The collection also goes from an almost sports-wear style to a fluffy-girlie style, yet retains a seriousness with it’s bold colors and geometric lines. Mixed texture pieces seem to be a common theme for next Fall from more than one designer, as we see in the fabric striping here as well with sheer and fur.
The Commuun garments look, as always, easy and breezy to wear, as if they are as light as air, as if they are almost not there. A little too light for winter-wear perhaps, but the two designers whom I met at their after party at the Fidelity in the 10th, explained to me that they went back to their roots, to the original inspirations for this collection (which differs so much from last winter’s collection that had a more African desert theme).

The short dresses with bust ruffles and the white hooded 3/4 sleeved jacket will be sure to be coveted.

Commuun

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