Jeanne Koré Salvato

ne thing about not living in Paris is that you can day-dream about what you would do there, could do there.

I love the concerts, which are plentiful this time of the year.  I would say that the French have a more seamless meld between the sacred and the secular.  The atheist, the agnostic, the kind of believer and the ardent—all commingle to hear concerts performed in the churches. During the years leading up to the French Revolution, the patriots were fed up with the clergy, the first estate of France’s three estates (clergy, nobility and everybody else). The first two estates had more ease, privilege, and an all around better life than the third, which made up over 90% of the population. In 1790, the government intervened and the churches became property of the state.

This blog gives you the ability to be a flaneur of the mind, or the imagination, browsing through the classical concerts available over Easter weekend. Pretend you are taking a helicopter taxi, soon to be available in Paris and NY City.  And you could go wherever thou listeth.

Well, on the calendar it’s the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. In France, it really is the three days from Holy Saturday through the following Monday, which is called Easter Monday.

In the States, Good Friday is considered a bank holiday. But in France, while this used to be the case, in 1905, the country became secular. Now only Alsace and the Moselle regions have Good Friday as a bank holiday, due to shared culture with Germany.
READER: How did they manage that?
ME: The history of that would make a good Netflix series!
READER: Or not.

You can get a feel for some of the offerings over Easter weekend. My aim is to convey the feeling of living in Paris and what you’d do with yourself. Easter seemed to lend itself to the classical side of things.

Ballet: (Fancy with fancy font)

Rudolf Noureev's Don Quixote: Ballet de l'Opéra National de Paris

1. Rudolf Noureev’s Don Quixote: Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris
Paris, Opéra Bastille
Sat 30 Mar 2024, 19:30 + more dates
195 euros

2. Opera Festival at La Sainte‐Chapelle
Paris, La Sainte‐Chapelle
Fri 29 Mar 2024, 18:00 + more dates
Tickets are up to 86 euros to include tapas and champagne

Ah, candlelight!

3. Candlelights Concert at St. Ephrem Church: Chopin, Schubert, Satie, Beethoven
Paris, Eglise Saint‐Ephrem
Sat 30 Mar 2024, 16:30 + more dates
Tickets from$ 22

4. Ensemble Royal de Paris: Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart at Église Saint‐Julien‐le‐Pauvre
Paris, Eglise Saint‐Julien‐le‐Pauvre
Sun 31 Mar 2024, 20:00 + more date
Tickets from$ 26

5. Candlelights Concert at St. Ephrem Church: Schubert, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Mendelssohn
Paris, Eglise Saint‐Ephrem
Sun 31 Mar 2024, 18:00 + more dates
Tickets from$ 22


La Madeleine

La Madeleine: Les Violons de France play Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
Paris, Eglise de la Madeleine
Sun 31 Mar 2024, 20:00 + more dates
Tickets from$ 28


This very templey church has a history full of consternation. Construction was halted during the French Revolution. When Louis XVI was beheaded, his body was thrown in quicklime in a pit there until he was reburied in St Denis. In the early 1800s, Napoleon wanted it to be a temple to the glory of the grand army. Did I say that the architect died in medias-res? And somehow the church became beloved of musicians, many of whom had their funeral there. Here’s what our compatriot M. Wiki has to say about Chopin’s funeral.

“The funeral of Chopin at the Church of the Madeleine in Paris was delayed almost two weeks, until 30 October 1849. Chopin had requested that Mozart’s Requiem be sung. The Requiem had major parts for female voices, but the Church of the Madeleine had never permitted female singers in its choir. The church finally relented, on condition that the female singers remain behind a black velvet curtain.” I mean, seriously? Somewhere along the line, the name Madeleine was decided upon in honor of Mary Magdalene who, it is said, witnessed both the crucification and resurrection of Christ.

Or perhaps you prefer cello and piano?

7. Romantic Concerts: Cello and Piano at the Eglise Saint‐Julien‐le‐Pauvre
Paris, Eglise Saint‐Julien‐le‐Pauvre
Sun 31 Mar 2024, 16:00
Tickets from$ 35

More candlelight

8. Candlelights Concert at St. Ephrem Church: Chopin, Debussy, Grieg, Tchaïkovsky
Paris, Eglise Saint‐Ephrem
Mon 01 Apr 2024, 17:30 + more dates
Tickets from$ 22

It’s true that Beckett was a Protestant, and therefore Christian. And Beckett begins Waiting for Godot with references to the two thieves crucified on either side of Christ on Good Friday. And, finally, it’s true that Beckett was born on Good Friday. But I saw somebody ask the question on the Internet, Is Waiting for Godot a religious play? When the answer was yes, I was amazed. Further on, someone asked if it were nihilistic? Another yes. Can it be both? No, was firmly stated. I think it’s better to ask what happens in the play. The play includes discussions of religious topics, but not happily. I think of what the Irish poet Yeats had to say about one of his fellow Irish compatriots: “Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.” Ha ha! Happy Easter.

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