Marc Chagall ceiling at the Opera Garnier
On Saturday the 28th of February we went to the Opera Garnier to see a performance of the Ballet de l’Opéra, Le Chant de la Terre (The Song of the Earth). Choreography, costumes, and lighting by John Neumeier, music Gustav Mahler, Opera National of Paris Orchestra, Patrick Lange conducting, tenor Burkhard Fritz, and baritone Paul Armin Edelman.
Mr. Neumeier has created a dialogue with the music of Gustav Mahler. This symphony for voice and orchestra has drawn its inspiration from 8th century Chinese poems. The 7 poems chosen by Mahler and transformed into six songs, describe the anguish of the human soul faced with the finiteness of life and rhythms of the season, friendship, the beauty of young women and the beauty of nature. Mahler was grief-stricken by the death of his oldest daughter, accompanied with his inability to take long walks in the mountains because of failing health, he must have found some consolation in the bittersweet chants. That was my understanding of how this piece came about when I did some research on the evolution of this most personal of works. Some consider this to be the composer’s greatest masterpiece.
All day we were dreaming of eating Peking Duck in Paris.
Musée Picasso, Paris, 5 rue de Thorigny, 75003, Paris, in the heart of the Marais district
Originally opened in 1985 and recently reopened October 25, 2014 after a major renovation. (the anniversary of Picasso’s birth). We’ve been to all the wonderful museums in Paris and wanted to make sure to see the recently reopened Musée Picasso, which is housed in the Hôtel Salé, a grand and extravagant 17th century grand Parisian house Before it was entrusted to the museum, it was rarely inhabited, but instead leased out to private individuals, prestigious people and institutions.
The central staircase is the masterpiece of the house and has just been recently restored. It is based on the stair plan designed by Michelangelo for the Laurentian Library in Florence. The building is absolutely stunning.
There are over 5,000 works of art and tens of thousands of archived pieces. This collection is the only one in the world to present Picasso’s painted, sculpted, engraved and illustrated body of work. The collection was created from “dation Picasso” (works donated in lieu of inheritance taxes) from Picasso’s estate, according to the artist’s wishes.
On the third floor of the building were works that Picasso had collected from friends and colleagues; here are two paintings by Renoir and a Max Ernst: