Louis Javet Theatre Athenee Dido And Aeneas

Jan Leeming

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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 8th May 2011


Last night we went to the Louis Jouvet Theatre - Athenee - and what a fantastic little gem of a fin de siecle building it is.   It really had the WOW factor. And nearby there was a great sculpture of Pegasus ridden by a Poet sculpted by Alexandre Falguiere (1897)

We took the bus to the Place l'Opera and then walked to the Theatre past the fantastic Opera - what a building - totally over the top but absolutely stunning. I understand that it is now reserved for Ballet and another Opera house has been built with better acoustics. We turned into the little square Louis Jouvet and there was the Theatre - a testament to the best of Art Nouveau and sparkling like a little gem. The theatre is dedicated to Louis Jouvet - a famous French actor. Unfortunately I'd not been alerted to how beautiful was this little theatre so I didn't have my camera. I could probably go back and take a picture of the outside but the inside was even more stunning. I can't describe how lovely was the interior decoration in this tiny jewel of a theatre.

We had a box - sounds great - but could hardly have had worse sight lines. At one stage we could hear someone singing but there was no one on stage - in fact she was right up against the Proscenium Arch but the view from the box - not the best at any time - was almost completely obliterated by some men leaning so far forward no one else could see. To me with my theatre background, this represented very bad staging. One accepts that boxes do not give you the best view but not to consider this fact when organising your sight lines was to me a great oversight. The Opera was Purcell's one and only 'Dido and Aeneas' (Didon et Enee) performed by a small opera company from Besancon. Despite the superb music and singing by an excellent chorus - and they used a Clavichord in keeping with the period - the production was thoroughly modern - no scenery and drab dresses. (Sorry, I may be old-fashioned but I do like my period dramas, operas and ballets performed in dress of the times) However, it was a lovely experience and afterwards we all went for a drink in the courtyard near the Edward V11 Hotel. It was a balmy evening and everywhere people were crowding the pavement cafes - very much en fete.

How I would love to live in Paris for the remainder of my life!  Any offers gratefully considered!!  Jan

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