February 16, 2023     Abby Feck

Exploring Paris Through Music


Paris is one of the top destinations for our Encore Tours groups to visit. With many great performance opportunities, this city is a favorite to perform in. Here, we have compiled a list of the best musical opportunities to experience and perform at with Encore. 

The Fountains Shows and Musical Gardens of Versailles (thru Oct.)

From spring to fall, the Château de Versailles puts on musical spectacles in the vast gardens and with the extraordinary fountains. This year, they are featuring four different shows: The Musical Fountains Show, The Musical Gardens, The Night Fountain Show, and the Royal Serenade. These productions are intended to help visitors explore the beautiful grounds through music. Check out this sample itinerary if you are interested in bringing your ensemble to experience Versailles! 

La Fête de la Musique 

La Fête de la Musique is an annual celebration of music in France. Every June 21st, the streets of Paris fill with music and celebration until late into the night. The first Fête de la Musique happened in 1982 as a kickoff to the summer season. It has since developed into a city-wide celebration in Paris to appreciate the cultural significance of music! Click here for the perfect summer performance itinerary. 

L’église de Saint-Sulpice 

A performance location frequented by our Encore Tours groups is the lovely Église de Saint-Sulpice. This church is the second largest in Paris, coming in right behind Notre Dame. It boasts many impressive architectural and musical highlights, such as its Gnomon, an astrological measurement device used to perfectly time the sounding of the bells, along with its well-known Grand Organ. The church puts on special masses that feature the playing of this organ. For now, here is a video showcasing the beautiful sounds of the organ. But be sure to check out the Encore Tours website to find out more about how to experience these performances in person and even play here yourself! 

Notre Dame des Blancs Manteaux 

Located in the energetic neighborhood of Le Marais, Notre Dame des Blancs Manteaux is another popular spot for our Encore ensembles to perform. Rich with history and ornate interior architecture, this location serves as a phenomenal spot for our groups to play. Beyond musical performances within the church, there has even been music written in reference to the area. Click here to listen to the song La Rue des Blancs-Manteaux, which was written as a commentary on the violence of the Second World War. 

Opéra Garnier 

As one of the most popular music-based excursions in Paris, the Opéra Garnier has plenty of interesting ways to engage with its history. The site offers guided group tours and individual multimedia tours, as well as having a full season of performances for visitors to enjoy. This site is also where the events of the Phantom of the Opera supposedly took place – you even have the opportunity to stop and see the Phantom’s private booth during your tour! The Opéra Garnier can be added as an excursion to all of the sample Encore itineraries to France, click here to check out one of our favorite routes! 

L’église de la Madeleine 

This church has a complicated history, leading it to have a unique look. Built during Napoleonic times, the ruler had intended for it to have an appearance similar to that of the Pantheon. Therefore, there are some clearly Roman and Greek-style details, such as the Corinthian columns outside the building. L’église de la Madeline often hosts live music within its Neo-Classical walls. This location is a notable favorite for our Encore ensembles to play! Click here to view our other popular performance destinations. 

La Sainte-Chapelle Concerts 

La Sainte-Chapelle is known as one of the best places to see a live performance in Paris. The ginormous stained-glass windows are exquisite – the building is detailed by 1,113 windows that surround you as the church fills with music. They most commonly feature works from famous composers like Vivaldi (specifically his Four Seasons), Bach, Handel and Mozart. Attending a concert here is a very special event, and can be added as a musical experience to any of the sample Encore itineraries to France. 

Paris Philharmonic 

In La Vilette, the Paris Philharmonic is a wonderful place to visit to see a variety of what the Paris music scene has to offer. From classical to jazz to contemporary, the philharmonic brings many different kinds of music together under one roof. They also offer music workshops and a permanent collection in their museum for music lovers to enjoy! 

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Being the biggest cemetery in Paris, this location houses the graves of countless famous musicians, composers and instrumentalists. Some notable highlights include Jim Morrison, Frederic Chopin and Edith Piaf. It was established under Napoleon in 1804 as a place to house those who made the greatest impression on French culture. Often, visitors come to pay their respects, leave notes on the graves of their favorite artists and even play some of their top hits in memoriam of the artists’ impacts.  

The Paris Metro 

Ironically enough, the Paris Metro is possibly one of the best places to experience the music of the city. Unlike other cities, the government actually works with their subway performers. To start, back in 1997, there was an agreement made with a group of about 300 artists who then became the first official musicians of the Paris Metro. Because most subway performers are licensed, a lot of the music played in the metro is worth stopping for in order to hear the authentic sounds of Paris! An extra, fun “Easter egg” is the mini silhouettes of performers and stage crew in the Opéra metro stop. These little figures can be found around this stop – you just need to keep an eye out to find them all! 

All of the itineraries linked in this article are samples intended to act as jumping off points for possible trips. However, all Encore trips are fully customizable! Every performance trip we put together is completely unique to fit your ensemble’s preferences. We also offer opportunities to travel to multiple countries in one trip, such as with this sample itinerary for France and Spain. We strive to make your dreams of performing abroad a reality! 

Don’t forget to check out the Encore website to see all of our amazing offers at www.encoretours.com

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