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Subject: Film “The Paris Opéra” and Other Matters Operatic & French
From: Alain Letort <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Alain Letort <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 2 Nov 2017 19:12:15 -0400
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Dear Listers,

Yesterday evening I attended a showing of the film “The Paris Opéra” at a downtown
Washington cinema.  The film, which depicts several months in the life of that institution,
was absolutely wonderful and exhilarating, but unfortunately played to an audience of only
4 (this at a 6:45 p.m. showing).  Unfortunately, the film closes tonight after only a one-
week run.  I heartily recommend it if you have not seen it and it is being shown where you 
live.

Frank Cadenhead, a couple of days ago, earlier sent us a link to an ingratiating video of 
French President Emmanuel Macron at a sing-along at the Opéra de Strasbourg in France.

A similar initiative was held last June at Rennes, the chief city of Brittany (pop. approx.
400,000).  Before a performance of “Carmen” on June 8 at the Opéra de Rennes, videos
were made of the children’s chorus and Escamillo’s Toréador aria and were widely circulated
before the actual performance at the Opéra de Rennes.  An impromptu flash-mob concert
by the Opéra’s chorus was also held at “République,” one the major subway stations in
Rennes, to publicize the event.

On the evening of the 8th, crowds filled the Place de la Mairie (on either side of which are
the Opéra and the Hôtel de Ville or city hall) and were invited to sing along with the
children’s chorus and the Toréador aria.  The performance was simulcast on big open-air
screens in Rennes and 22 other cities and towns in Brittany. I think this was a wonderful
outreach and popularization initiative that many cities elsewhere could and should imitate in
order to attract a new and young audience.  It is frightening to attend the Met and realize
that at age 69 one is one the youngest audience members (well, I exaggerate somewhat, 
but you get my drift).

See the Rennes videos at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Swgdtm2jOUE ,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8-dabF5mCY , and https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=k7s3Bhiu9qs .

Cheers,

Alain

Alain Letort
Washington, D.C.
Des Ungeheuers Höhle

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