Spontini at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées

Gaspare Spontini (1774-1851) was an Italian opera composer who spent many years in Paris and later in Berlin. His best-known opera, La Vestale, was first performed in Paris in 1807. In this opera Licinius, a victorious Roman general, returns to Rome in triumph only to discover that his fiancée, Julia, Read More …

Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier

Since the name of this theater means ‘Theatre of the Old Pigeon-House’, I used to think the theater building was just that, an old pigeon-house (dovecote) that somebody decided to re-purpose after a sharp decline in the demand for pigeon meat. Considering the size of the theatre, I thought it Read More …

Hugoffenbach

In Paris back in 2011 I saw an insightful theatrical revue about the Second Empire, the eighteen-year period from 1852 to 1870 when Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte ruled France as Emperor Napoléon III. The musical spectacle “Hugoffenbach” combined texts by Victor Hugo (1802-1885), expressing his outrage at Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte’s seizure of power, Read More …