Paris

The performing arts scene in Paris runs the gamut from highbrow to lowbrow, cheap (or even free) to break-the-bank expensive. Venues are indoors and outdoors, opulent or spartan, and dress codes vary accordingly. Regardless of the performance you choose, it's probably unlike anything you've seen before. Parisians have an audacious sense of artistic adventure and a stunning eye for scene and staging. An added bonus in this city of classic beauty is that many of the venues themselves—from the opulent interiors of the Opéra Garnier and the Opéra Royal de Versailles to the Art Deco splendor of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées—are a feast for the eyes.

One thing that sets Paris apart in the arts world is the active participation of the Ministry of Culture, which sponsors numerous concert halls and theaters, like the Comédie Française, that tend to present less commercial, though artistically captivating, productions. Other venues with broader appeal are known for sold-out shows and decade-long runs.

Most performances are in French, although you can find English theater productions. English-language movies are often presented undubbed, with subtitles. Of course, you don't need to speak the language to enjoy opera, classical music, dance, or the circus.

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  • 1. Festival Paris l'Été

    Held throughout Paris from mid-July to mid-August, the Quartier d'Été festival attracts international stars of dance, world music, theater, and the circus. Prices for concert...Read More

  • 2. Jazz à la Villette

    Eastern Paris

    The annual Jazz à la Villette Festival is held at various Parc de La Villette venues, including the Philharmonie de Paris and Trabendo, over 10...Read More

  • 3. Orangerie du Parc de Bagatelle

    Western Paris

    The Chopin Festival and the Solistes Festival strike musical high notes in the Orangerie du Parc de Bagatelle, one of Paris's most beautiful gardens. The...Read More

  • 4. Parc Floral

    Eastern Paris

    For free outdoor classical concerts, the Classique au Vert Festival is staged weekends at 4 pm from August to mid-September, drawing fans to the Parc...Read More

  • 5. Rock-en-Seine

    This rock festival, which runs each August on the outskirts of Paris, is one of the largest of its kind in France; past headliners include...Read More

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