For those whose schedules stretch their busy evenings months in advance, or for those who don’t have enough of their evenings to fill up with music, there is a solution: lunchtime gigs. Appointments limited in time – between 45 minutes and 1 hour on average -, more intimate – chamber music is often in the spotlight and small rooms or original places are preferred -, less expensive – a certain many of them are free and otherwise the ticket prices have nothing to do with their evening acolytes – and often more open to performers – it is an opportunity to discover the work of many students in particular, all on programs that remain mainstream. A non-exhaustive overview of these musical moments.
“Tuesday Impromptus” at the Musical Seine: 45 minutes of concert at 12:30 p.m. on the first Tuesdays of the month around an artist or a group familiar with the new large performance hall in western Paris, which offers a fine program of classical music throughout the year (Mathieu Herzog, La Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine, the Jaroussky Academy, etc.). Free and without reservation.
“At lunchtime” at the Opéra-Comique: 1 hour show at 1 p.m. with programs rich in the repertoire of the Parisian hall given by the artists in residence, the Nouvelle Troupe Favart. 15 euros per concert (10 euros for children under 18). The opportunity to discover one of the oldest musical and theatrical institutions in France, classified as a historical monument.
“Lunch-concert” at the Théâtre du Châtelet: meeting at 12:30 p.m. for a special one-hour formula (15 euros per seat), collaboration between the Orchester de chambre de Paris and the Théâtre du Châtelet: “Two works , a presentation and a discussion led by a mediator and, as a result, the opportunity to become familiar with musical creation. The principle is simple: a contemporary work – often a creation – is played. An exchange with the composer or one of the performers follows. Then, the work is played again and reveals itself differently. »
The “Lunchtime Concerts” of the Sorbonne: “At each concert, the presentation of the works is ensured by an academic, whether he or she is a researcher, teacher or student. Alternately, students and “alumni” – as they say in Anglo-Saxon universities – perform in the Richelieu amphitheater and in the auditorium of the Jussieu campus. » Fridays at 12:15 p.m. Price: from 6 to 12 euros.
“Concert lunchtime” at the Musée d’Orsay: Fifty minutes of music from 12:30 p.m. “On the menu: surprise, pleasure, emotion”, promises the museum for these concerts, the programming of which is designed according to current exhibitions and offers a wide variety of repertoires and formations (musicians from the Orchester de Paris, Trio Chausson, Sirba Octet). Seats are from 8 euros, 16 euros full price.
“Les Concerts de midi et demi” at the Salle Cortot: meet in this charming little room in the west of Paris every Tuesday for most of the year, at 12:30 p.m., as their name suggests , to hear the students and young graduates of the adjacent École Normale de Musique. A profusion of dates and artists which offers an extremely varied programme, to be discovered without moderation since the entrance is free and free, without reservation.
The “Concerts-rencontre” and the “Midis musicals” of the Paris Opera. The institution offers two formulas at lunchtime. The concerts-meetings, a dozen per season, take place on Thursdays at 1 p.m. at the Bastille studio, they bring together “musicians from the orchestra and artists from the choirs of the Opéra national de Paris” for “concerts preceded by introductions” whose program is revealed throughout the year, ticket price: 5 euros. On the other side, the Midis musicals, four Sundays per season at 12 p.m., is suitable for an hour of chamber music in the great hall of the Palais Garnier by the musicians of the Opera orchestra. The price of tickets ranges from 15 euros (10 euros without visibility) to 30 euros and for the 2022-2023 season, the March 5 concert “Brass and percussion” will be conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.
“Les Concerts de Midi” by the eponymous association, which has therefore specialized in musical midday breaks with consequently a fairly large offer. About ten one-hour programs around the great composers, each played four times: Saturday at 6 p.m., Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and Monday and Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. The emphasis is on conviviality: a aperitif for the concert on Saturday, a breakfast on Sunday and on Mondays and Tuesdays a sandwich and a bottle of water are included in the price of the ticket (count between 8 and 18 euros).
“Midi L’AO” at the Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon: a 55-minute lunch break to music led by an actor, “sometimes in the shoes of a composer, sometimes in that of an interpreter, a music critic or even a listener”. Five meetings took place over the 2021-2022 season focused on discovery with the exploration of several repertoires and always listening keys. From 10 to 15 euros.
The “Lunchtime Concerts” of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté School of Music by students, under the guidance of teachers. A mix of classical works with pieces from the 20th and 21st centuries at 12:15 p.m. with free admission by reservation.
The “Midi-musées musique” of the Museum of Fine Arts, meeting six Mondays in the year from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m., seats from 8 to 10 euros.
The “Musical Midis” at the Grand Théâtre de l’Opéra national de Bordeaux honor the voices. “Bel canto, arias from operas or operettas, melodies and Lieder, sacred or secular choirs…” for 45 minutes from 12:30 p.m., promises the institution. About once a month, 10 euros instead.