Opera houses and orchestras honour the Paris victims

Opera houses and orchestras honour the Paris victims


norman lebrecht

November 14, 2015

The Metropolitan Opera is handing out leaflets of the Marsellaise to all matinee operagoers today, inviting them to join in the singing of the French national anthem before the performance. Good work, Peter Gelb.

Placido Domingo conducted.

met mourns

The Atlanta Symphony is dedicating today’s performance of Verdi’s Requiem to the dead and injured in the Paris attacks. Fort Worth Symphony and Colorado Springs Philharmonic are also planning tributes tonight.

In Washington visiting conductor Gianandrea Noseda spoke from the stage to dedicate the National Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Alfredo Casella’s Elegia eroica to the people of France.

Let us know if you hear of more.

Paris is without music tonight and tomorrow. Let us make music for Paris.


Leipzig Opera dedicated tonight’s Figaro to Paris.

In Ottawa, Canada, the National Arts Centre Orchestra is responding to the terrible attacks on Paris by performing the national anthem of France, La Marseillaise tonight to open the concert.

In Sao Paolo, Brazil, the concert stage was lit up in red, white and blue.

sao paolo marsellaise

Vienna: Before today’s Beethoven Ninth at the Musikverein, Sir Simon Rattle, the Berlin Philharmonic and Dr. Thomas Angyan, Intendant of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien, asked for a moment’s silence:

Rattle said: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, we are all of course still deeply shocked at the horror in Paris yesterday. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is essentially a journey from darkness to light. And the light includes Beethoven’s message, a plea for love, tolerance, Menschlichkeit, humour. The words ‘Alle Menschen werden Brüder’ are the words we need to hear more than ever today, especially when we are faced by people, who do not believe that. What we can do is play and what we would ask you for is a moment of remembrance, silence and love to the people, who lost their lives or their loved ones..



  • RW2013 says:

    The DSO’s Berlin concert tonight was also dedicated to the victims, as was the pianist David Fray’s encore to his Ravel concerto, the Bach-Busoni Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland.
    Reminded me of hearing Peter Serkin play the complete Schönberg on the evening of 9/11, to which he requested that there be no applause.

  • JanHus says:

    A moment of silence before Handel’s Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno at Staatsoper Berlin.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Touching, so many many gestures of solidarity. It is also easy. The real challenge is preventing society to get divided and to stop outbreaks of pegidaitis. Europe should now try to get really united against barbarism inside and outside.

    • John says:

      I was warning only last week of the dangers of relentless illegal immigration into Europe. Europe has really messed up and is starting to pay the inevitable consequences of ‘multiculturism’. One can only hope they get a grip on this troubling situation.

  • KC says:

    Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by nézet-séguin played the french national anthem before their subscription concert today: sibelius finlandia, copland appalachian spring, hannibal one land, one river, one people.

  • Brinton Smith says:

    from the stage before the Houston Symphony performance tonight:
    “Good Evening. As you may know, Wagner wrote our first work, the Siegfried Idyll, as a gift to his wife, Cosima, celebrating the birth of their son. A creation of art, celebrating the creation of life- two of humanity’s greatest achievements. Yesterday in Paris, evil men sought to destroy the essence and the fabric of that humanity. Destruction is hopelessly simple compared to the miracle of creation, but tonight the entire civilized world stands united as one. We will not waiver from our course or our values. The Houston Symphony would like to respectfully dedicate today’s concert to the victims of these barbaric attacks and to thank you for joining us here tonight, to continue to celebrate the greatest values and achievements of humanity “

  • Christy says:

    Marsellaise was played by Lyric Opera Chicago orchestra tonight before The Merry Widow, set in Paris, of course.

  • Pieter Lembrechts National Orchestra Belgium says:

    The Belgian National Orchestra is touring in Lichtenstein and Germany. Their Music Director Andrey Boreyko asked a minute of silence before the concert in Vaduz and dedicated the concert to the victims of this dreadful assault. They tour with Fazil Say who plays his “Silence of Anatolia” which remembers the victims of the war. After the concert they played Ravel’s “Pavane for a dead princess”, a very touching encore.

  • Trevor says:

    The ENO Orchestra and chorus played and sang the Marseillaise last night before La Boheme. Perhaps the most moving moment I’ve experienced in an opera house.

  • Dr Solomon says:

    The Emerson String Quartet concluded their concert in Liverpool by playing Bach’s final chorale,”Vor deinen Thron tret ich” (dictated from his death bed), which was followed by a spontaneous lengthy silence from the audience before applause.

  • Michael Wilkinson says:

    London Philharmonic were at the Dome in Brighton Last night. At the beginning, Robin Ticciati called for a minute’s silence to follow the Faure suite from Pelleas and Melisande in an evening of French music. The stillness was palpable.

  • jeffrey biegel says:

    The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus opened the concert last night with Stella Sung’s ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’, who asked the Music Director, Neal Gittleman to speak with the audience and request a moment of silence rather than applause following her composition, in honor of those who perished and those who suffer in Paris. This was followed by the compelling ‘Dreams of the Fallen’ by Jake Runestad for piano, orchestra and chorus honoring veterans of wars, past and present.

  • Michael Sweeney says:

    The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, directed by guest conductor Michael Sanderling, played “Nimrod” from Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” in honour of the victims in Paris.

  • Lewis Kirk says:

    At tonight’s performance In Evanston, IL USA the Chicago Philharmonic will begin the concert with the Pavane for a Dead Princess by Ravel (added to the program)

  • Pedro says:

    Haitink and the COE have just dedicated tonight’s concert at the Concertgebouw to the Paris víctims.

  • William Safford says:

    At the Orchestra NOW concert at Bard College last night, there were a few words from the conductor, and a moment of silence, before the second half (Dvorak 8). The audience was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop.

    I’m sure there are many other such stories.

  • Robert Levine says:

    The Milwaukee Symphony dedicated its concert Friday night to the victims, in an announcement made on the second half, which was the Gorecki Symphony No. 3

  • Herrera says:

    What does it mean to “dedicate this performance” to something? That all proceeds go to combat ISIS, to a victim’s fund? And unless its a Beethoven 9 or some requiem, what’s the point of dedicating a Figaro or a Merry Widow?

    • V.Lind says:

      Guess you do not believe in prayer or anything like that. I think dedicating an activity to something, like the victims of Paris, means thinking of them before you begin, feeling empathy, perhaps offering prayers for them if you are so inclined, but in a way it is a secular sort of prayer. Focused attention to something outside yourself and a willing of good, through your best effort in whatever endeavour you are undertaking.

      Not as practical, perhaps, as financial aid, but a gesture of solidarity, acknowledgement of our commonality with others. Why do we go to funerals? Why do we send sympathy cards? There may be cynics, and pro forma types, but to a lot of people, these small gestures are offered to hearten others, remind them that their suffering has not gone un-noted or without people caring.

  • Scott MacClelland says:

    The Santa Cruz Symphony (Calif.) under music director Daniel Stewart opened performances on Nov 14 and 15 with La Marseillaise. The audiences stood then cheered.

  • Arlene Nash says:

    The San Francisco Opera’s November 14th performance of The Magic Flute was dedicated to the memory of those killed in Paris.

  • CA says:

    The Charlotte Symphony added La Marseillaise to its performance on Saturday evening, November 14; its performances on November 19-21 of the Faure Requiem will be dedicated to the victims of the tragedies in France,