Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department. In 2016, the city proper had 279,284 inhabitants and both the Eurométropole de Strasbourg and the Arrondissement of Strasbourg had 491,409 inhabitants. Strasbourg's metropolitan area had a population of 785,839 in 2015, making it the ninth largest metro area in France and home to 13% of the Grand Est region's inhabitants; the transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 915,000 inhabitants in 2014. Strasbourg is one of the de facto capitals of the European Union, as it is the seat of several European institutions, such as the Council of Europe and the Eurocorps, as well as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman of the European Union; the city is the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine and the International Institute of Human Rights.
Strasbourg's historic city centre, the Grande Île, was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, the first time such an honour was placed on an entire city centre. Strasbourg is immersed in Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a cultural bridge between France and Germany for centuries through the University of Strasbourg the second largest in France, the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture, it is home to the largest Islamic place of worship in France, the Strasbourg Grand Mosque. Economically, Strasbourg is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as a hub of road and river transportation; the port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine after Germany. Before the 5th century, the city was known as Argantorati, a Celtic Gaulish name Latinized first as Argentorate, as Argentoratum; that Gaulish name is a compound of -rati, the Gaulish word for fortified enclosures, cognate to the Old Irish ráth, arganto-, the Gaulish word for silver, but any precious metal gold, suggesting either a fortified enclosure located by a river gold mining site, or hoarding gold mined in the nearby rivers.
After the 5th century, the city became known by a different name Gallicized as Strasbourg. That name is of Germanic origin and means "Town of roads"; the modern Stras- is cognate to the German Straße and English street, all of which are derived from Latin strata, while -bourg is cognate to the German Burg and English borough, all of which are derived from Proto-Germanic *burgz. Gregory of Tours was the first to mention the name change: in the tenth book of his History of the Franks written shortly after 590 he said that Egidius, Bishop of Reims, accused of plotting against King Childebert II of Austrasia in favor of his uncle King Chilperic I of Neustria, was tried by a synod of Austrasian bishops in Metz in November 590, found guilty and removed from the priesthood taken "ad Argentoratensem urbem, quam nunc Strateburgum vocant", where he was exiled. Strasbourg is situated at the eastern border of France with Germany; this border is formed by the Rhine, which forms the eastern border of the modern city, facing across the river to the German town Kehl.
The historic core of Strasbourg however lies on the Grande Île in the river Ill, which here flows parallel to, 4 kilometres from, the Rhine. The natural courses of the two rivers join some distance downstream of Strasbourg, although several artificial waterways now connect them within the city; the city lies in the Upper Rhine Plain, at between 132 metres and 151 metres above sea level, with the upland areas of the Vosges Mountains some 20 km to the west and the Black Forest 25 km to the east. This section of the Rhine valley is a major axis of north–south travel, with river traffic on the Rhine itself, major roads and railways paralleling it on both banks; the city is some 397 kilometres east of Paris. The mouth of the Rhine lies 450 kilometres to the north, or 650 kilometres as the river flows, whilst the head of navigation in Basel is some 100 kilometres to the south, or 150 kilometres by river. In spite of its position far inland, Strasbourg's climate is classified as oceanic, but a "semicontinental" climate with some degree of maritime influence in relation to the mild patterns of Western and Southern France.
The city has warm sunny summers and cool, overcast winters. Precipitation is elevated from mid-spring to the end of summer, but remains constant throughout the year, totaling 631.4 mm annually. On average, snow falls 30 days per year; the highest temperature recorded was 38.5 °C in August 2003, during the 2003 European heat wave. The lowest temperature eve
Strasbourg Opera House
The Strasbourg Opera House, located on Place Broglie on the Grande Île in the city center of Strasbourg, in the French department of the Bas-Rhin, is the main seat and mother house of the opera company Opéra national du Rhin. It has been classified as a Monument historique since 1921. After a fire in 1800 that destroyed a previous opera house located on Place Broglie, the Strasbourg municipality set up plans for a new one in 1804; as the Napoleonic Empire came and went, the plans for the théâtre municipal were altered several times, until the building, designed in the Neoclassical style by architect Jean-Nicolas Villot opened to great acclaim in 1821. The monumental façade is adorned by sandstone statues of six muses by Landolin Ohmacht, each statue corresponding to a column below. During the Siege of Strasbourg in 1870, the opera was damaged by Prussian artillery, it was faithfully rebuilt by the architect Jean Geoffroy Conrath, who rebuilt the Hôtel de Klinglin nearby, reopened in 1873. In 1888, a semi-circular wing was added at the rear by Johann-Karl Ott.
The auditorium has a height of 18 metres from the floor to the ceiling. It has seen performances being conducted by Hans Pfitzner, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Otto Klemperer and George Szell. Palais des Fêtes Recht, Roland.
La Cigale is a theater at 120, boulevard de Rochechouart near Place Pigalle, in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. The theatre is part of a complex, connected to Le Trabendo and the Boule Noire; the hall can accommodate 954 people. The floor of the orchestra has a scalable platform that can tilt and rise through a system of hydraulics; the Inrockuptibles Festival takes place 20 years at La Cigale. La Cigale hosts the Factory Festival. 1887: La Cigale is built on the site of the former cabaret Boule Noire, demolished to make room for the new theatre. In those days it featured theatrical reviews. 1894: The theatre is remodeled and enlarged by architect Henry Grandpierre, ceiling paintings are added by Adolphe Leon Willette. During this period it features performances by luminaries such as Mistinguett, Maurice Chevalier, Yvonne Printemps, Arletty and Max Linder. 1920: The hall is given over to operettas and avant-garde evenings with Jean Cocteau. A cabaret opens in the basement of the facility in 1924, but only lasts for three years when it is temporarily replaced by a small music hall called La Fourmi.
1940: La Cigale is converted to a movie theater specializing in Kung-fu films, X-rated movies. 1981: The vestibule and auditorium of the theatre is classified a historical monument on December 8, 1981 1987: La Cigale as a theatre is reopened by Rita Mitsouko along with Jacques Renault and Fabrice Coat, two former junk dealers and cofounders of the famous Paris nightclub Les Bains Douches. The auditorium is modernized and a system of hydraulics is added; the interior is redecorated by Philippe Starck. Corinne Mimram is appointed music director. 2007: La Cigale partners with the French telecommunications company, SFR for two years and the name is changed to La Cigale SFR. 2011 In January Jean-Louis Menanteau becomes the new director general. Entertainers who have performed at La Cigale include: Official website
The Salle Pleyel is a concert hall in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France. Its varied programme includes popular music; until 2015, the hall was a major venue for classical orchestral music, with Orchestre de Paris and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France as resident ensembles. An earlier salle Pleyel seating 300 opened in December 1839 at nº 22 rue Rochechouart. A replacement 3,000-seat hall was commissioned in 1927 by piano manufacturer Pleyel et Cie and designed by Gustave Lion; the inauguration concert by the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, with Robert Casadesus as soloist and Igor Stravinsky, Maurice Ravel, Philippe Gaubert as conductors, included music by Wagner, Manuel de Falla, Igor Stravinsky, Paul Dukas and Ravel. A fire ravaged the interior of the hall on 28 June 1928 and the renovation cost made it impossible to repay the loan to Crédit Lyonnais bank, which took over the property and reduced the seats to 2,400, they in turn sold the hall to Hubert Martigny in 1998.
Stravinsky returned to Paris to conduct the French premiere of Agon in 1957, of Threni in 1958. From 2002 to 2006, the hall underwent major renovation; the acoustics of the hall and the public and service areas were improved, seating decreased from the post-fire 2,400 seats to 1,913. The Salle Pleyel has been owned by the Cité de la Musique since 2009, its status as a classical music venue ended in January 2015, when its programming was transferred to the newly-opened Philharmonie de Paris concert hall. An orchestral concert featuring live performances of music from various Bandai Namco Entertainment-produced video games, such as Dark Souls and Tekken, took place on February 4, 2017; the event was attended by composers of the aforementioned games. Official website
The Palais Garnier is a 1,979-seat opera house, built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera. It was called the Salle des Capucines, because of its location on the Boulevard des Capucines in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, but soon became known as the Palais Garnier, in recognition of its opulence and its architect, Charles Garnier; the theatre is often referred to as the Opéra Garnier and was known as the Opéra de Paris or the Opéra, as it was the primary home of the Paris Opera and its associated Paris Opera Ballet until 1989, when the Opéra Bastille opened at the Place de la Bastille. The Paris Opera now uses the Palais Garnier for ballet; the Palais Garnier has been called "probably the most famous opera house in the world, a symbol of Paris like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, or the Sacré Coeur Basilica." This is at least due to its use as the setting for Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera and the novel's subsequent adaptations in films and the popular 1986 musical.
Another contributing factor is that among the buildings constructed in Paris during the Second Empire, besides being the most expensive, it has been described as the only one, "unquestionably a masterpiece of the first rank." This opinion is far from unanimous however: the 20th-century French architect Le Corbusier once described it as "a lying art" and contended that the "Garnier movement is a décor of the grave". The Palais Garnier houses the Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra de Paris, although the Library-Museum is no longer managed by the Opera and is part of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France; the museum is included in unaccompanied tours of the Palais Garnier. The opera was constructed in what Charles Garnier is said to have told the Empress Eugenie was "Napoleon III" style The Napoleon III style was eclectic, borrowed from many historical sources; these were combined with axial symmetry and modern techniques and materials, including the use of an iron framework, pioneered in other Napoleon III buildings, including the Bibliotheque Nationale and the markets of Les Halles.
The façade and the interior followed the Napoleon III style principle of leaving no space without decoration. Garnier used polychromy, or a variety of colors, for theatrical effect, achieved different varieties of marble and stone and gilded bronze; the façade of the Opera used seventeen different kinds of material, arranged in elaborate multicolored marble friezes and lavish statuary, many of which portray deities of Greek mythology. The principal façade is on the south side of the building, overlooking the Place de l'Opéra and terminates the perspective along the Avenue de l'Opéra. Fourteen painters and seventy-three sculptors participated in the creation of its ornamentation; the two gilded figural groups, Charles Gumery's L'Harmonie and La Poésie, crown the apexes of the principal façade's left and right avant-corps. They are both made of gilt copper electrotype; the bases of the two avant-corps are decorated with four major multi-figure groups sculpted by François Jouffroy, Jean-Baptiste Claude Eugène Guillaume, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Jean-Joseph Perraud.
The façade incorporates other work by Gumery, Alexandre Falguière, others. Gilded galvanoplastic bronze busts of many of the great composers are located between the columns of the theatre's front façade and depict, from left to right, Auber, Mozart, Spontini and Halévy. On the left and right lateral returns of the front façade are busts of the librettists Eugène Scribe and Philippe Quinault, respectively; the sculptural group Apollo and Music, located at the apex of the south gable of the stage flytower, is the work of Aimé Millet, the two smaller bronze Pegasus figures at either end of the south gable are by Eugène-Louis Lequesne. Known as the Rotonde de l'Empereur, this group of rooms is located on the left side of the building and was designed to allow secure and direct access by the Emperor via a double ramp to the building; when the Empire fell, work stopped. It now houses the Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra de Paris, home to nearly 600,000 documents including 100,000 books, 1,680 periodicals, 10,000 programs, letters, 100,000 photographs, sketches of costumes and sets and historical administrative records.
Located on the right side of the building as a counterpart to the Pavillon de l'Empereur, this pavilion was designed to allow subscribers direct access from their carriages to the interior of the building. It is covered by a 13.5-metre diameter dome. Paired obelisks mark the entrances to the rotunda on the south; the interior consists of interweaving corridors, stairwells and landings, allowing the movement of large numbers of people and space for socialising during intermission. Rich with velvet, gold leaf, cherubim and nymphs, the interior is characteristic of Baroque sumptuousness; the building features a large ceremonial staircase of white marble with a balustrade of red and green marble, which divides into two divergent flights of stairs that lead to the Grand Foyer. Its design was inspired by Victor Louis's grand staircase for the Théâtre de Bordeaux; the pedestals of the staircase are decorated with female torchères, created by Albert-Ernest
Philharmonie de Paris
The Philharmonie de Paris is a cultural institution in Paris, France which combine spaces all dedicated to music. It is composed of concert halls, exhibition spaces, rehearsal rooms, educational services and bars; the main buildings are all located in the Parc de la Villette at the northeastern edge of Paris in the 19th arrondissement. At the core of this set of spaces is the symphonic concert hall of 2,400 seats designed by Jean Nouvel and opened in January 2015, its construction had been postponed for about twenty years to complete the current musical institution la Cité de la Musique designed by Christian de Portzamparc and opened since 1995. Dedicated to symphonic concerts, the Philharmonie de Paris present other forms of music such as jazz and world music; the project was announced on 6 March 2006, by the Minister of Culture and Communication, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, the Director of the Cité de la musique and of the Salle Pleyel, Laurent Bayle, during a press conference on the reopening of the Salle Pleyel, now linked with the Cité de la Musique.
In 2007, Jean Nouvel won the design competition for the auditorium. He brought in Brigitte Métra as his partner, along with Marshall Day Acoustics, Nagata Acoustics and dUCKS Scéno; the cost of construction, expected to be €170 million, was shared by the national government, the Ville de Paris, the Région Île-de-France, but the final cost was around €386 million The hall opened on 14 January 2015, with a performance by the Orchestre de Paris of Faure's Requiem, conducted by Paavo Järvi, played to honor the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shootings which had taken place in the city a week earlier. It is located in the Parc de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement of Paris; this sector of the city was the home of the two brothers who carried out these killings. The opening concert was attended by French President François Hollande, but boycotted by the architect. Designed by Jean Nouvel, the Philharmonie 1 is an organic design with innovative forms rising like a hill within the Parc de la Villette.
Aluminium panels in a basketweave design swirl around the structure and contrast with the rest of its matte exterior. The exterior features the images of 340,000 birds etched into the surface in seven different shapes and four shades ranging from light grey to black to symbolize a grand take-off; the rooftop, 37 metres high, will be open to the public and will give visitors an expansive view of the city blending into the suburbs. The building houses the site's largest concert hall, called the Grande Salle Pierre Boulez; the design of the auditorium follows the model pioneered by the Berlin Philharmonie to intensify the feeling of intimacy between the performers and their audience. Indeed, the auditorium adapted the way the 2400 seats are distributed, between the parterre, behind the stage and on floating balconies around the central stage; the farthest spectator is only 32 metres from the conductor. The hall's enveloping configuration is designed to immerse the spectator in the music, its walls are composed of moving panels designed to redirect the sound in multiple directions.
These panels alternate with sound absorbing surfaces, specially treated to increase reflection and reverberation, the sound resonates throughout the vast acoustic volume. The tiers and parterre seating are retractable, offering an increased capacity of 3,650 people for events such as amplified concerts that require special configurations. A number of spaces for use by musicians are situated around the hall, including dressing rooms but rehearsal rooms. In all, the hall is encircled by five rehearsal rooms for various ensembles and ten chamber music studios. An entire section of the building is occupied by an 1,800-square-metre educational centre. With various rooms designed for collective practice, it will host workshop cycles for many groups; the site boasts an 800-square-metre exhibition space, a conference hall and two restaurants. The Philharmonie de Paris contracted the Austrian organ-maker Rieger Orgelbau to construct a pipe organ, it is made up of over 7,000 pipes with 91 stops and was designed to complement the building's architecture.
The organ debuted with a concert on 28 October 2015, with an improvisation by Thierry Escaich and a performance of Symphony No. 3. Another organ of 53 stops on 3 manuals and pedals had been built in 1991 by the same firm for the nearby Conservatoire de Paris. Official website Philharmonie de Paris at Google Cultural Institute 1:10 acoustic model of the Philharmonie de Paris
Théâtre du Châtelet
The Théâtre du Châtelet is a theatre and opera house, located in the place du Châtelet in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France. One of two theatres built on the site of a châtelet, a small castle or fortress, it was designed by Gabriel Davioud at the request of Baron Haussmann between 1860 and 1862. Named the Théâtre Impérial du Châtelet, it has undergone remodeling and name changes over the years, it seats 2,500 people. The theatre is one of two apparent twins constructed along the quays of the Seine, facing each other across the open Place du Châtelet; the other is the Théâtre de la Ville. Their external architecture is Palladian entrances under arcades, although their interior layouts differ considerably. At the centre of the plaza is an ornate, sphinx-endowed fountain, erected in 1808, which commemorates Napoleon's victory in Egypt; the Théâtre Impérial du Châtelet was built for Hippolyte Hostein's equestrian company, the Théâtre Impérial du Cirque, whose previous theatre, the Cirque Olympique on the Boulevard du Temple, was slated for demolition by Baron Haussmann to allow the construction of the Boulevard du Prince-Eugène.
The site for the new theatre was acquired by the City of Paris in October 1859, construction took place between 1860 and 1862. The interior designers included Eugène Carrières and Armand Cambon, the curtain was created by Charles Cambon; the theatre seated 2,200 people, although Haussmann claimed it held 3,600. The repertory, fixed by a decree of 20 September 1862, included military works and féeries in one or several acts, as well as dramas and vaudevilles. Hostein left as director in September 1868. Nestor Roqueplan ran the theatre from 1 July 1869 to April 1870; the theatre was closed from September 1870 to July 1871 due to the Franco-Prussian War. The war brought about the fall of the Second French Empire, under the succeeding French Third Republic, the appellation impérial was dropped. Hippolyte Hostein returned as the theatre's director in 1873–1874. Notably, beginning in April 1876, the stage version of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days, adapted by Verne and Adolphe d'Ennery, began a run spanning sixty-four years and 2,195 performances.
It was only the Nazi occupation of Paris in May 1940. Into the 20th Century, the theatre was used for operettas and ballet performances, for classical and popular music concerts, it was for a time, a cinema. Regular seasons of opera and ballet were presented by a variety of impresarios, among them Gabriel Astruc, who introduced Diaghilev's Ballets Russes here. Igor Stravinsky’s Petrouchka received its premiere in the theatre on 13 June 1911, as did Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau’s Parade on 18 May 1917. In addition, many foreign composers and conductors made appearances in the theatre, including Tchaikovsky, Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. Since 1979, it has been operated by the City of Paris, after undergoing a major restoration, re-opened under the name of Théâtre Musical de Paris in 1980, it was acoustically reverted to the Théâtre du Châtelet name. Shirley Horn recorded her 1992 live album I Love Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet. For a time it was used for opera performances and concerts; the Orchestre de Paris and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France have played there.
In 1993 the Philharmonia Orchestra of London began an annual residency period. Under the direction of Stéphane Lissner for four years from 1995, the theatre received additional improvements in acoustics and sightlines. In 2004, Jean-Luc Choplin became artistic director of the theatre, he de-emphasized classical music and dance performances and introduced more lucrative productions of Broadway musicals, including Kiss Me, Singin' in the Rain, 42nd Street, An American in Paris. In 2017, Choplin was succeeded by Ruth Mackenzie, appointed artistic director alongside general director Thomas Lauriot dit Prévost, who worked at the theatre with Choplin from 2006 to 2013. Allison, John, ed.. Great Opera Houses of the World, supplement to Opera Magazine, London. Wild, Nicole. Dictionnaire des théâtres parisiens au XIXe siècle: les théâtres et la musique. Paris: Aux Amateurs de livres. ISBN 978-0-8288-2586-3. ISBN 978-2-905053-80-0. Official website Floormic Profile