New Years 2001

photo: street musicians, christmas eve

Christmas Eve shoppers assulted by street joy.

One Time Only - Don't Miss It

Paris:- Saturday, 23. December 2000:- By the time this gets online Christmas Day will be past, but Christmas events will continue for about a week beyond the beginning of the year - so this column leads with these items.

What follows is a sketchy idea of New Years in Paris, which I've decided should be like a play in five acts. As with everything else in Paris there are few rules, so you can take in the 'acts' you want and ignore the others.

But it is a fair assumption that if you've taken the trouble to come all the way to Paris at this season - and especially for the unique millennium changeover - you are made of strong stuff, or have a solid relationship with your bankers, or both! - and you intend to 'shoot the works.'

Paris is a residential city and many of its citizens will not be sticking their noses into these festivities. But not all who live here will be staying safe and snug at home with their loved ones - so you can expect Paris to be one of the world's major party zones, possibly for an excessive length of time. 'Five act' plays aren't short.

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Christmas In Paris 2000

There are so many items, with some of them difficult to classify, that the following may be a bit of a hodge-podge. Most likely - look and ye shall find.

Christmas Lights -

  • Rue Royal, until the beginning of January
  • Avenue Montaigne, from 17:00 until midnight; until Friday, 5. January
  • Place Vendôme, Avenue Montaigne and Rue de la Paix, until Friday, 5. January
  • Avenue des Champs-Elysées, from 18:00; until Sunday, 31. December
  • Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré

Christmas Windows -

  • La Samaritaine, until Sunday, 31. December. At 19. Rue de la Monnaie, Paris 1.
  • Printemps, Haussmann, until Sunday, 31. December. Theme - 'Glam'rock.' At 64. Boulevard Haussmann, Paris 9.
  • Aux Galeries Lafayette, until Sunday, 31. December. Theme - 'Alice au Pays des Merveilles' which is otherwise known as 'Wonderland.' At 40. Boulevard Haussmann, Paris 9.

Neighborhoods - 'quartiers' - also put up their own light shows, usually on shopping streets, around markets, or even on the city halls of arrondissements - so you may run into lights of cheer wherever you go in the city. This applies to decorated windows too - with lots of shops having their own seasonal displays.

Ice Skating - the Hôtel de Ville's outdoor ice skating rink is back in the place in front of Paris' mainposter: l'an 01, forum des images city hall. At the moment it has the only outdoor ice in the city. Open daily for twirling from 9:00 to a late 22:00; until 25. February. Skate rental - 30 francs per day. Two antique merry-go-rounds complete the 1200 square-metre ice rink. Métro: Hôtel de Ville.

Christmas Tree Forest - Paris fashion designers turn their hands to 80 Christmas trees, which can be seen at the place in front of the Pompidou art museum - or, inside the modern art warehouse itself. Closed Tuesday; open from 11:00 to 22:00; until Thursday, 4. January. Paris 4. Métro: Rambuteau.

Merry-Go-Rounds - one in each of Paris' 20 arrondissements, free for kids. This includes the 'Grand Roue de Paris' which operates from 11:00 to 00:30 daily and 11:00 to 00:45 on weekends at the Place de la Concorde. The merry-go-rounds - 'manèges' - operate from 10:30 to 19:30 daily; until Sunday, 7. January.

1000 Drums - gather from all around Europe at 23:00 on Sunday, 31. December, in front of the Pompidou Centre, to drum in the 3rd millennium with gusto. Paris 4. Métro: Rambuteau or Hôtel de Ville.

Grande Parade - is not to be missed because it will be the first on the first New Years Day in the new millennium. There will be marching bands from everywhere, floats, acrobats and elements of the Bouglione and Pinder-Jean Richard circuses. Starting time is 14:00 at Richelieu-Drouot and the whole show is expected to arrive at the Madeleine two hours later, via the Grands Boulevards.

Les Aventures de Pinocchio - is the story about the kid made of wood with the extensible nose, by Carlo Collodi - for kids five and up. This is a big production with 17 scenes and 35 players. On Wednesdays and Saturdays in the evenings; matinees during the school holidays. At the Théâtre du Palais-Royal, 38. Rue Montpensier, Paris 1. Métro:Palais-Royal or Pyramides. InfoTel.: 01 40 12 29 78.

La Poubelle Enchantée - or 'The Enchanted Garbagecan,' is a musical comedy with clowns and poubelles. For the ages of three to 10. Wednesdays and weekends, and all school holidays, in the afternoon; until Sunday, 14. January. At the Bobino, 20. Rue de Gaîté, Paris 14. Métro: Gaîté.. InfoTel.: 01 43 27 75 75.

Un Conte de Noël - a Christmas Fable, by William Korso and Pierre-Alain Perez, features dancers, singers, jugglers and magicians. Until Sunday, 31. December. From one to three times daily, at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin, 16. Boulevard Saint-Martin, Paris 10. Métro: Strasbourg- St-Denis. InfoTel.: 08 92 69 90 00.

Le Mystère de Noël - is an opera of 3D images featuring religious art works, from Byzantine mosaics - to Rembrandt. Accompanied by sacred texts, classical music and gospels. Subtitles in English and Italian. Until Wednesday, 10. January, in the heated tent located on the Parvis in front of Notre Dame. Daily performances hourly from 13:00 to 19:00. Métro: Cité. InfoTel.: 01 56 56 44 23.

Marché de Noël

Le Monde des Enfants - trees and decorations, Santa Claus' house, rides and merry-go-rounds, at the village of more than 70 chalets. Until Sunday, 7. January; from 11:00 to 20:00; 11:00 to 22:00 on Friday and Saturday. At the Place de la Bastille, on the Port de l'Arsenal side. Paris 4. Métro: Bastille.

Grand Choir - of Saint Petersburg's Moussorgsky Theatre, will be singing in Russian and other European languages. At the Eglise Saint-Louis- en-l'Isle, 19 bis, Rue Saint-Louis-en-l'Isle, Paris 4. From Tuesday, 26. December to Saturday, 30. December at 20:45. The final concert takes place at the American Cathedral at 20:45 on Sunday, 31. December. At 23. Avenue George V, Paris 8. InfoTel.: 01 44 62 00 55.

Gregorian Ensemble - of Notre-Dame de Paris. Gregorian chants and French polyphonicsposter: euro design from the 11th century. On Friday, 29. December, at 20:30; at Notre Dame on the Ile de la Cite. Métro: Cité. InfoTel.: 01 42 34 56 10.

Handel's Messiah - performed by the National Philharmonic Orchestra, on Sunday, 31. December, at 20:30. At the Eglise de la Madeleine, Place de la Madeleine. Paris 8. Métro: Madeleine. InfoTel.: 08 03 80 58 03.

The other 'show,' on Sundays during December, consists of free concerts usually beginning at 16:00, performed on the Madeleine's very large and famous organ. I believe that there is also a Christmas Eve Midnight Mass on Sunday, 24. December - which is such a tradition that there is no mention of it. Tickets for this: at fnac, Virgin and agencies.


Le Quatuor - with 'Il Pleut des Cordes,' directed by Alain Sachs. Featuring Laurent Vercambre et Jean-Claude Camors on violins and Pierre Ganem, alto. Laurent Cirade, violoncello. Performing Schubert, Mozart and Lemarque. Théâtre du Châtelet, 1. Place du Châtelet, Paris 1. Métro: Châtelet. InfoTel.: 01 40 28 28 40.

Les Victor Racoin - is a quintet with a burlesque show involving a 'pot pourri' of silly action and insane music. Until Saturday, 6. January. At the Auditorium Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 4. Rue Félibien, Paris 6. Métro: Mabillon. InfoTel.: 01 44 07 37 43.

The recent strikes at the Opéras at Bastille and the Palais Garnier seem to be over, but it is possible that no-show action is now happening at the Opéra Comique.

If you have tickets to any opera house, be sure to call first - to find out if there will be a complete or partial performance, or find out where to get refunds.

Joyaux - by George Balanchine, is a new production featuring the opera's first dance team. Music for 'Rubis' is by Igor Stravinsky and the music for 'Diamants' is by Tchaikovsky. At 19:30 on the following days in December: the 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th. At 17:00 on Sunday, 17. December. Opéra Palais Garnier, Place de l'Opéra, Paris 9. Métro: Opéra. InfoTel.: 08 36 69 78 68.

La Périchole - is opéra-bouffe, based on a piece by Offenbach and staged extravagantly by Jérômeposter: snow show, casino de paris Savary and Gérard Daguerre Until Sunday, 7. January. At the Opéra Comique, Place Boïeldieu, Paris 12. Métro: Richelieu-Drouot. InfoTel.: 08 25 00 00 58.

Opéraccordéon - lyric fantasy for soprano Catherine Estourelle and accordionist Arnaud Methivier, around melodies by Puccini, Berio, Fauré and Pergolèse. Directed by Agnès Boury. At the Espace La Comedia, 2. Impasse Lamier, Paris 11. Métro: Philippe-Auguste. InfoTel.: 01 44 64 83 76.

Juana la Loca - as performed by Sara Baras Flamenco Ballet, with music by the Grupo Flamenco Sara Baras. From the preview on TV - stunning! From Wednesday, 27. December - including Sunday, 31. December - until Sunday, 7. January; at 20:00. Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, 15. Avenue Montaigne, Paris 8. Métro: Place de l'Alma. InfoTel.: 01 49 52 50 50.

La Chauve-Souris - otherwise, the 'Bat,' by Johann Strauss, with the orchestra and chorus of the Opéra. Directed by film director Coline Serreau. Until Sunday, 21. January. At 19:30 on the following days; the 27th, 29th, 30th, and 31st. Opéra, Bastille, 2 bis. Place de la Bastille, Paris 12. Métro: Bastille. InfoTel.: 08 36 69 78 68.

How Could This Happen? - 'La Nativité' by John Adams, directed by Peter Sellers is now over, but Astor Piazzolla is honored on Sunday, 7. January at 11:00.. Théâtre du Châtelet, 1. Place du Châtelet, Paris 11. Métro: Châtelet. InfoTel.: 01 40 28 28 40.

Alexis Gruss - after 26 years of the 'Cirque à l'Ancienne' which follows a tradition established in 1770, to have lots of horses clowns, balancing acts and jugglers. On Wednesdays at 14:00; at 14:00 and 20:30 on Saturday and 14:00 and 17:15 on Sunday. Daily at 14:00 during school holidays. Until 25. February, at the Allée de la Reine Marguerite in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris 16. InfoTel.: 01 40 36 08 00.

Cirque Phenix - is the gypsy circus 'en liberté,' which means its tent has no interior poles. With musicians and violins and acrobats. Until Sunday, 7. January at 15:00 and 21:00 on Wednesday and Saturday. On the Pelouse de Reuilly, Paris 12. Métro: Porte de Charenton or Porte Dorée. InfoTel.: 01 56 29 19 18.

Cirque d'Arlette Gruss - a traditional circus, but with themes such as 'Arlette Dépasse les Bornes.' Until Sunday, 7. January. On the Pelouse de Reuilly, Paris 12. Métro: Porte de Charenton or Porte Dorée. InfoTel.: 01 43 44 09 09.

Pinder- Jean Richard - big Christmas trees mix it up with this traditional circus, until Sunday, 7. January. On the Pelouse de Reuilly, Paris 12. Métro: Porte de Charenton or Porte Dorée. InfoTel.: 01 43 44 09 09. This circus also takes part in the world's first circus festival, from Wednesday 10. January to Sunday, 14. January. InfoTel.: 01 40 40 10 00.

Le Grand Céleste - is a smaller, human-scale circus that mixes up street acts with an original score, with sort of a story to itall. At 13. Avenue de la Porte des Lilas, Paris 19. Metro: Porte des Lilas InfoTel.: 01 53 19 99 13.

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