Arts + Culture

Music's Greatest Hits

by Kara Zuaro

Paris, May 29, 1913

The Moment: Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring premieres at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées to riotous effect. The ballet's ferocious rhythm, violent choreography, and racy subject matter (pagan rituals and fertility rites) beget catcalls, derogatory whistles, and enough fistfights to get the police involved. Classical music is thrust headlong into the modern era.

Where to go now: These days, outraged Parisians are as likely to be in the streets as in the theaters, but Stravinsky's cultural heirs continue to offend purists' ears. Witness for yourself this spring and summer at the Palais Garnier in Paris: Silent Screen, a ballet set to Glassworks, by the ever-controversial composer Philip Glass, will be performed May 12–15, 2006, and The Miraculous Mandarin, the often-censored pantomime by Stravinsky's contemporary Béla Bartók will be onstage June 19–July 14, 2006.

Opéra National de Paris (Palais Garnier)
Place de l'Opéra

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