It's Thursday - Time to go to the lunchtime concert at the Opera Bastille

The lunchtime concerts are held in the studio, which is to the left of the stairs shown in the photo.

Friends occasionally ask if I'm out and about doing something different every day. The quick and honest answer is no. For the past two days, I've been at home catching up on fun tasks, like ironing and cleaning.

Today, however, I'm happy to report that I'm leaving the chores behind to take advantage of one of the best deals in town. For 5 Euros, the orchestra musicians and choral singers of the Opéra Bastille offer lunchtime concerts and I'm going to be there, enjoying pieces by Benjamin Britten, Ernst von Donhanyi and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

One of the added advantages of the concerts is that the composer and the selections are briefly introduced to the audience. So, it's like taking a short music appreciation course combined with oral comprehension of the French language. It's good mental exercise for me.

When Stéphane, Sara and I went to the concert 2 weeks ago, we were introduced to Georges Louis Onslow, the composer known as "the French Beethoven" because he was injured while hunting and became deaf in the left ear. This accident inspired the last three movements of his quintet opus 38, "The Bullet".

To see the schedule for upcoming lunchtime concerts, please click HERE. Tickets may be purchased at the box office. As seating is limited, it's best to arrive at the Opera at least 30 minutes prior to the performance, which starts promptly at 1:00 p.m.

Opera Bastille
Place de la Bastille
75012 Paris

Metro: Bastille, Gare de Lyon


  1. I've never heard of von Donhanyi, or Onslow--seems they mix the obscure with the well known, which is a good thing. I used to sneak off to the rush seats at the Philadelphia Orchestra which were $7.00 way back when for nose bleed seats, and I loved it. Eventually I moved into better seats but I certainly cherish those concerts on a dime.

    Last night I rushed to see the HD screening of the Met Opera at my local cinema of the Philip Glass opera "Satyagraha" about the life of Gandhi. Very interesting.

    And I'm so glad to read that you think ironing and cleaning are fun tasks--a girl after my own heart. (I think you jest, yes.)

  2. Thanks for mentioning Satyagraha. I wasn't familiar with it so I googled it. How did you like the experience of watching an opera in the cinema?

    I don't mind ironing if I have something good to watch on tv. The best part of cleaning is when it's finished. I have just enough of my mother's German blood that I don't do well with clutter, although I still haven't washed my feather pillows. Tsk, tsk!

    Onslow was new to me as well. Happy to report that I liked the selection that they played because I've had a bit of a grudge against anyone with that name after a music teacher, a certain Mr. Onslow, demoted my son from singing in the Christmas choir to being a page turner for the pianist because Philippe sounded "too" American for the British school choir. We laugh about it now but at the time Onslow was not a name to mention in our house. Hell hath no furry like a mother whose child is scorned for being American! ;-)

  3. Glad to hear you're out and about again. You don't want to have too much fun at home - you'll get spoilt! The concert sounded lovely. I haven't been to a classical concert for years and years. These days it's pop and jazz. Maybe it's time for some culture.

  4. If only I could find a place with Christmas carols, mince pies and you doing a reading in French. Culture is good but mince pies and vin chaud are better. The people who live in the provinces get to have all the fun!

  5. Mary Kay, I love the operas at the cinema, esp if it's broadcast live which they sometimes are. Satyagraha was very challenging but appreciated.

    I too like to do ironing to something on tv--like live tennis, my favorite, but a regular tv with commercial breaks is good too--I iron during the breaks!

    I like the Onslow story--how incredible that the name gets around in the music circles.

  6. That's good to know that you like the operas at the cinema. I'll have to remember that when I'm in Switzerland because they show an opera or a ballet, sometimes broadcast live, at one of the cinemas every Sunday.

  7. Mary Kay--Do you know if they are still hosting these lunchtime concerts? I am planning a trip for September/October and would love to go to one, but am unable to find anything on the site...even for April.

    1. Yes, they still have the lunchtime concerts. The dates for September/October aren't posted yet but here's the link with the April dates: Good luck with planning your September/October trip!

    2. Hi, For some reason the link doesn't take you to the specific page, only the general one. To get to the right page, search for "jeudi" (Thursday) in the search field on the Opera de Paris website. It will show the following: CHAQUE JEUDI AU STUDIO BASTILLE, L'OPÉRA NATIONAL DE PARIS VOUS CONVIE À UN RENDEZ-VOUS À L'HEURE DU DÉJEUNER : RENCONTRES, CONFÉRENCES, CONCERTS PAR LES MUSICIENS DE L'ORCHESTRE ET DU CHOEUR DE L'OPÉRA...
      9 AVRIL 2015 - 13H00
      Frédéric Laroque Violon
      Jérôme Lefranc Violoncelle
      Vincent Penot Clarinette
      Florence Boissolle Piano
      23 AVRIL 2015 - 13H00
      Laurent Durupt Sonate en triOhm

      Philippe Poncet, Tsuey-Yin Taï, Jean-Baptiste Leclère Percussions


    3. Found it! Thank you!


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