Christmas Great Mass
Until December 22, 2020
Place de l’Opéra 75009 Paris
Capacity 1900 seats
Recommended for all ages
This winter, Les Arts Florissants and the Opéra national de Paris invite you to a Christmas Concert in the legendary hall of the Palais Garnier. This is a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas in the most special way. The program includes a selection of the most beautiful sacred arias by Vivaldi, Corelli and Corrette. Allow yourself to be immersed into the incredible sound of mass just like it was during the composer's time!
Since its creation in 1979 by William Christie, Les Arts Florissants has established itself as one of the most recognized baroque music ensembles in the world. Faithful to interpretation on ancient instruments, the orchestra's mission is to promote European music of the 17th and 18th centuries and to introduce it to as many people as possible.
During this Grande Messe de Noël, Les Arts Florissants, under the direction of their co-director Paul Agnew, revisits Vivaldi's sacred repertoire.
Although today it is given exclusively in concert, back in time Vivaldi's Gloria was composed for church service. However, several pieces such as Sanctus and Agnus Dei did not survive the ravages of time. Les Arts Florissants, therefore, attempted to reconstruct this ordinary mass, drawing on the sacred music of Vivaldi and studying the liturgical practices of Venice at that time.
The Arts Florissants Choirs and Orchestra offer a superb concert of sacred music, featuring arias by Corelli and Corrette. Thanks to their work of reconstruction, you would be able to experience a beautiful Mass.
Programme des concerts
Introit for the Midnight Mass - Plain-chant, Kyrie eleison RV 587, Gloria RV 589, Crastina die - Plain-chant and Credo RV 591
Concerto grosso op.VI n ° 8 "Fatto per la notte di Natale"
Sanctus, (contrafactum according to Beatus Vir RV. 597/1 and Dixit Dominus RV 807/7), Benedictus (contrafactum according to Dixit Dominus RV 807/8), Agnus Dei (contrafactum according to Magnificat RV 610/1 and 8 and the Kyrie RV 587), Revelabitur gloria Domine - Plain-chant
Laudate Dominum on Spring by Vivaldi (excerpt)
Arts Florissants Choirs and Orchestra, Paul Agnew (conductor), Miriam Allan (soprano), Maud Gnidzaz (soprano) and Mélodie Ruvio (contralto).
Opéra Palais Garnier
One of the most prestigious stages in all of France, the Palais Garnier was constructed from 1860 to 1875, designed by legendary architect Charles Garnier, who was selected among a handful of talented architects in a fierce design competition. The building itself is considered a artful masterpiece, and was one of the most expensive construction projects to come from the Second French Empire under the reign of Napoléon III. The elaborate use of different materials to lend a lavish multicolored facade was typical of many of the works under the rule of Napoléon III, and features sculptures of various figures of Greek mythology. The official inauguration in 1875 was attended by the Mayor of London and Amsterdam, the King Alphonso XII of Spain, and hundreds of members from European high society.
The interior was meticulously designed with intertwining corridors, alcoves and landings to allow for easy movment of large numbers of people; complete with a grand marbled staircase and the grand foyer, acting as the drawing room for all of Paris high society and covered in gilded paintings. The auditorium itself is in a traditional Italian horseshoe shape, seating 1900. The stage is the largest in Europe and can accomodate 450 artists, revealed by the opening of the legendary painted curtain. Garnier himself designed the 7-tonne chandelier sparkling above the audience. In 1896, one of the many chandelier counterweights broke free and killed a concierge, the incident that inspired the scenes in the 1910 novel-turned-musical The Phantom of the Opera. The space above the audotorium in the copula dome was once used strictly for cleaning the chandelier, but has since been transformed into a space for opera and dance rehersals.
The legendary building was initially deemed the Academie Imperiale de Musique, yet with the fall of the Second Empire and the start of the Third Republic, this was aptly changed for the Academie Nationale de Musique, which we see written across the exterior facade to this day. Garnier envisioned his design and the transformation of the surrounding area, and to this day the opulence of the Second Empire lives on in this living monument. The avenue de l'Opéra remains the only large Parisian corridor without trees, as Garnier explicitly prevented Hausmann from adorning the street with trees, arguing that his Palais Garnier was to be the main focus. Palais Garnier became the official name in 1989 with the construction of the Opéra Bastille, and the venue now houses primarily ballets.