As a historic capital, Paris is full of places dedicated to culture and music. For those who love classical music, some buildings are unavoidable, like the Opéra Garnier, a masterpiece built under Napoleon III with breathtaking architecture (notably the ceiling of the opera, painted by Chagall), coupled with an unprecedented lyrical and choreographic programme. Its contemporary alter-ego, the Opéra Bastille can accommodate up to 2700 people wishing to enjoy excellent acoustics and performances by the greatest classical masters.
In the 19th arrondissement, avenue Jean-Jaurès, the Paris Philharmonie's premises are also among the most interesting in terms of acoustics, with three rooms open to the public and an original and varied programme. Nearby, a music museum showcases the instruments of the greatest musicians, such as Chopin or Brassens.
As for theatres, the Champs-Élysées, a very beautiful 20th-century building, as well as the Chatelet Theatre, located at 2 Edouard-Colonne, regularly offer ballets or recitals of all genres. Finally, the Conservatoire National Supérieur is prized by connoisseurs who wish to attend all the year's rehearsals.
The pop/rock music scene is one that attracts the most viewers and has the greatest media resonance, so the venues hosting French and international artists are legion in the City of Light, to the delight of Parisians. The Bataclan, now tragically famous, is one of the legendary rooms that regularly welcomes artists from all walks of life, such as Sting.
La Cigale, with its 1,500 seats, is known for allowing musicians to stay close to their audience and for its relaxed and timeless atmosphere. Other smaller rooms allow a very intimate approach to music, such as the Trianon, which has 1000 seats; while La Maroquinerie, and Le Café de la Danse, have barely 300 seats. Finally, the large red letters on the front of the Olympia are famous for having displayed the greatest French singers and the biggest names from the rock world, from Piaf to the Beatles, via Metallica and the Rolling Stones.
In summer, pop and rock music is seen outdoors, at major Parisian festivals in parks and gardens. The best known is undoubtedly Rock in Seine, which attracts headliners like Muse, Foals, or Radiohead. Solidays, at the Longchamp racetrack, features artists singing to fight AIDS. Also worth mentioning are Les Nuits de l'Alligator, for lovers of blues/rock, the We Love Green festival, the Bois de Vincennes, the Festival of Humanity, which welcomes Renaud this year, or The Lollapalooza, which is only in France this summer, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd and Lana Del Rey on the programme.
The jazz listeners are certainly familiar with the rue des Lombards in the 1st arrondissement. There is a concentration of jazz cellars within a few metres of each other, such as Le Baiser Volé and its warm and innovative programming or Le Duc des Lombards, a rather chic, trendy and avant-garde establishment. There are also Sunset and Le Sunside, whose themes are reminiscent of former New York clubs, with soul singers, talented pianists and rhythmic improvisations.
In the 11th arrondissement, Les Disquaires awakens new generations of artists by allowing the public to taste the new influences of jazz, funk and samba every night, while Le Caveau de la Huchette in the Latin Quarter relives the great classics of the 1920s.
Near to Saint-Ouen, the iconic bistro of La Chope des Puces is entirely dedicated to gipsy jazz and offers its guests a restaurant-show room, where concerts are held on Saturdays and Sundays. In a similar vein, Le Caveau des Oubliettes, rue Galande, is aimed at an international audience with its improvisation sessions where everyone can register to play soul, funk, swing, etc.
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