Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Sunday 19 March 2023


The outside of the Church
My last post left you all a little bit up in the air, for the really perspicacious of you yes I was in Paris. The Church we played in on the Friday was Saint-Etienne-du-Mont a church with a fascinating history dating back to the 6th Century, the current building is largely Gothic with large windows and flying buttresses, but as I was only there after dark it was the interior stone work that I really appreciated. As I was only involved in one piece in the concert I had plenty of time to appreciate the setting as well as the music ~ I also had plenty of time to get freezing cold! Not quite what I had in mind for a trip to Paris in the Springtime!

The interior of St Etienne as I never saw it ~ in daylight!
Right next to the Pantheon and close by the Sorbonne the setting is a notable as the Church itself, and right in the cultural heart of the city. Despite being so close to such big tourist draws we still managed to find some good traditional French food for our pre concert dinner, and then afterwards adjourned to a local bar, where we enjoyed some of the local  beverage!

Notra Dame du Liban with
the Paris Rainbow Symphony Orchestra
For our Saturday concert we moved venue to Notre Dame du Liban, built in the 19th Century it was a lot more comfortable and certainly less cold. Still in Gothic revival even though less spectacular much more accommodating! A large and imposing interior with a strangely unassuming entrance, we could have easily walked past without noticing. 

A bit like my own London Gay Symphony Orchestra one thing that is really noticeable about the Rainbow Symphony is that the average age is quite young ~ especially for an amateur orchestra. These days I've got to an age where I don't want to be part of a group where I don't raise the average age! From preference I certainly want to spend more time with people younger than me than with others around my own age, so this helped make the week a lot of fun.

There are still plenty of things I want to see and do in Paris, I do have a bit of a thing for ecclesiastical architecture, so I would still like to visit Saint-Denis and Sainte-Chapellle. Notra Dame is still shut after the 2019 fire ~ I have been there but would love to go back now I'm older. But the great thing about this visit wasn't being a tourist and visiting the historic sites, it was about sharing the joy of making music, making new friends and renewing some old friendships.

The delightful Mathilde and Corinne
A tuba section I'm not pretty enough to get in! 

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