Christmas Great Mass

christmas great mass arts florissants paris
Opéra Palais Garnier

Until December 22, 2020

No dialogue


Opéra Palais Garnier
Place de l’Opéra 75009 Paris
Capacity 1900 seats


2 hours
Without intermission


Recommended for all ages
No dialog

Highlights: Christmas Great Mass

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!

Story: Christmas Great Mass

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


Antonio Vivaldi
Introit for the Midnight Mass - Plain-chant, Kyrie eleison RV 587, Gloria RV 589, Crastina die - Plain-chant and Credo RV 591


Arcangelo Corelli
Concerto grosso op.VI n ° 8 "Fatto per la notte di Natale"


Antonio Vivaldi
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


Michel Corrette
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).



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Opéra Palais Garnier

Place de l’Opéra 75009 Paris

Opéra Palais Garnier

One of the most prestigious stages in all of France, the Palais Garnier was constructed between 1860 and 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 an 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 movement of large numbers of people; complete with a grand marble 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 accommodate 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 auditorium in the copula dome was once used strictly for cleaning the chandelier, but has since been transformed into a space for opera and dance rehearsals.


The legendary building was initially deemed the Academie Impériale 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 Haussmann 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.


Fast facts
Capacity: 1,979
Handicap Accessible: Yes – in order to guarantee access to specific locations, we ask that you make your reservation at least 15 days before the performance.
Air conditioning: Yes
Heating: Yes
Coat Check: Yes (free service)


Where will I be seated?

There are a maximum of three categories available. The theatre is an Italian style auditorium, meaning the seats are in a horse-shoe shape. Theatre in Paris guests are centrally placed either in the orchestra, on the first level/mezzanine, or in the second, third, and fourth level lodge boxes to have an optimal view of the stage.

How do I get to the theatre?

The theatre is accessible by the metro station Opéra (Lines 3, 7, 8 and RER A). Our hotline can be reached in case of difficulty finding the theatre weekdays from 10 am to 7pm Paris time. For details, we invite you to consult the map above.

What do I do when I get to the theatre?

We invite you to arrive 20 minutes before the beginning of the show, and present your voucher at the front desk. The theatre's English-speaking staff members will guide you to your seats. Please note that the performances at the Palais Garnier begin precisely on time, and all late arrivals will not be permitted to enter the auditorium until intermission.

How long does the show last?

The show lasts two hours, without intermission.

Is it a show for travelers or French people?

Both! The Palais Garnier has been welcoming audiences from all over the world for close to 150 years. This legendary opera performance is sung in its original Italian, and subtitles in both French and English are provided for audiences to appreciate in one of France’s most iconic venues.

Does the venue have a specific dress code?

For Parisian operas and ballets, the dress tends to be a bit fancier than in other venues, so feel free to have a little fun and dress to impress. Many Parisians will arrive directly from work, dressed in casual chic attire. Generally, elegant casual wear is required, jackets are recommended for men. Shorts, Bermuda shorts, flip-flops, sportswear and trainers are discouraged.