May 2011 Events in Paris

May 2011  Events in Paris

Paris comes alive in May with the start of the haute saison for visitors. You have everything from the French Open (Roland Garros) Tennis to author readings (Tatiana de Rosnay at Shakespeare and Co.) to fantastic concerts and free entry to many Paris museums well into the nighttime for the Nuit des Musées. With 29 million+ visitors a year, Paris has something for everyone!

May Highlights

Shakespeare and Company

9 Tatiana de Rosnay reads from her latest novel, A Secret Kept

La Nuit européenne des musées
14 The 7th European Museums at Night event kicks off and many museums are open 6pm to midnight.  Check the official website for details as to which museums are participating.

The French Open Tennis (Roland Garros)
17 – June 5th See the masters of the court battle it out to take home the prestigious winner’s cup from Roland Garros.rafael nadal ©

17 Sade in concert

Château de Versailles
The Versailles Fountains: Saturday and Sundays from 2 April to 30 October (not available 1 May).  Also on Tuesdays 24 May to 28 June.  11am – 12pm and 3:30pm – 5:30pm.

Foire du Trône
Through June 5th—Europe’s largest fun fair can be found at Pelouse de  Reuilly (Métro: Liberté).  This fun fair has roots back to the 12th century.

Antiquités Brocante at Bastille
19 – 29 Place de la Bastille becomes filled with 480 antique dealers, not to mention thousands of visitors.

Musée des Arts Décoratifs
28 Ralph Lauren’s private priceless collection of sports cars go on show at the Museum of Decorative Arts.

The Great Paris Steeplechase –
29 The first steeplechase was held in 1874 and it has been an annual event ever since, with the winner taking home €324,000.00.

Museum Exhibitions in May (art, film, photography & more)

The Louvre –

Egypt in Stone, Egypt in Paper, through June 2nd
Pietro da Cortona and Ciro Ferri, through June 6th
Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus, through July 18th
Claude Lorrain, The Draftsman Studying Nature, through July 18th

Musée d’Orsay –
A Balland of Love and Death: Pre-Raphaelite Photography in Great Britain, 1848-1875, through May 29th

Gustave Mahler, through May 29th
Manet: The Man who Invented Modern Art, opens April 5th through July 3rd

Grand Palais –

Nature et Idéal:  Le Paysage à Rome, through June 6th
Aimé Césaire, Lam, Picasso, through June 6th
Odilon Redon, through June 20th
Monumenta: Anish Kapoor, May 15th – June 23rd

Hôtel de Ville –

La Commune: Paris Insurrection 1971, through May 28th
Paris: Au Temps des Impressionnistes, through July 30th

Madame Gres Exhibit © france24.comMusée Bourdelle –

Madame Grés, through July 24th

Palais de la Découverte

Les Survivants de l’Extrême, through August 28th
Energy Island, Palais de la Découverte, through May 15th

Musée du Luxembourg –

Cranach, In his Time, through May 23rd

Musée de l’Armée –

Armour of the Princes of Europe, through June 25th

Petit Palais -Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris –

Jean-Louis Forain 1852 – 1931, La Comédie Parisienne, through June 5th

Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme

Chagall et la Bible, through June 5th

Mémorial de la Shoah –

Juger Eichmann – Jerusalem 1961, through September 28th

Château de Versailles –

Thrones in Majesty, through June 19th

Musée de la Vie Romantique –

Romantic French Gardens, through July 17th

Musée du Quai Branly –

Le Fabrique des Images, through July 17th

L’Orient des Femmes, a Vision by Christian Lacroix, through May 15th

Dogon, through July 4th

Centre Georges Pompidou –

François Morellet, through July 4th

My Way, Jean-Michel Othoniel, through May 23rd

Paris – Delhi – Bombay, opens May 25th – September 19th

Musée des Arts Décoratifs –

Les Années 1990-2000 History of Contemporary Fashion, through May 8th

Vilac, 100 Years of Wooden Toys, through May 8th

The Art of the Automobile, The Private Collection of Ralph Lauren, through August 28th

Verre à Venise – 3 Artists, 3 Visions, through September 4th

Animal, through November 30th

Musée Jacquemart André –

Dans l’Intimité des Frères Caillebotte, through July 11th

La Maison Rouge –

Tous Cannibales,through May 15th

Chiharu Shiota, Home of Memory, through May 15th

La Maison Européenne de la Photographie –

L’Objet Photographique, through June 19th

Patrick Tosani, through June 19th

Musée Maillol –

Miró Sculpteur, through July 31st

Mona Bismarck Foundation –

Gustave Corbet and the Love of Nature, through June 4th

Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle –

Parcours à la Ménagerie, through December 31st

Dans l’Ombre des Dinosaures, through June 13th

In the Wake of Sharks, through May 8th

Foundation Cartier –

Vaudou, through September 25th

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris –

Apartès, through May 7th

Van Dongen, through July 17th

Musée National de la Légion d’Honneur –

Napoléon’s Imperial Jewels, through May 29th

Pinacothèque –

Le Voyage Imaginaire de Hugo Pratt, through August 21st

Cinémathèque –

Stanley Kubrick Retrospective, through July 11th

Musée National de la Marine –

Paquebot France, through October 23rd

Australian Embassy / 4, rue Jean Rois, Paris 15th

Dennis Nona, Entre Ciel, Terre et Mer, ou le Mythe Revisité, through May 20th

Ateliers d’Art et Design –

An exhibition displaying the work of many talented artists in conjunction with the Mairie de Paris

Through May 28th

Musée Zadkine –

Frédérique Lucien – Introspectives, through September 4th

Atelier 7 –

Charwei Tsai, May 25th – June 24th

Giverny Impressionists Museum –

Bonnard en Normandie, through July 3rd


Popular Music Venues – Highlights of May

Contemporary, Rock, R&B, Jazz

Bercy –

17   Sade

26   Yusuf (Cat Stevens)

30, 31   Roger Waters – The Wall Live

Salle Pleyel –

3   Hilary Hahn – Valentina Lisita

5    Orchestre Symphonique du CRR de Paris

6    Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France: Myung –Whun Chung, Conductor

7, 11   Orchestre de Paris, Swing Lenny: Philippe Aiche, Conductor

8, 29   Musiciens de l’Orchestre National d’Ile-de-France: David Levi, Conductor

10   Russian National Orchestre: Mikhail Pletnev, Conductor

11    Radu Lupu on piano

12    Janine Jansen on violin with Itamar Golan on piano

14    Sylvain Luc and Friends

16, 29   Orchestre Cologne: Laurent Petitgirard, Conductor

17   Orchestre et Choeur du Capitole de Toulouse: Tugan Sokhiev, Conductor

18   Académie de l’Orchestre de Paris: Sae Lee on piano, Miha Rogina on saxophone

18, 19   Orchestre de Paris: Paavo Jarvi, Conductor – Gautier Capuçon, cello

20   Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France: Peter Oundjian, Conductor

21    Western-Eastern Divan Orchestre: Daniel  Barenboim, Conductor

22   Wynton Marsalis Quintet & Richard Galiano

25   Orchestre de Paris: Paavo Jarvi, Conductor – Leif Ove Andse, piano

26   Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg: Emmanuel Krivine, Conductor – Julie Fischer, violin

27   Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France: Nikolaj Znaider, Conductor and violin

28   Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France: Nikolaj Znaider, Conductor

28   Orchestre Pasdeloup: Wolfgang Doerner, Conductor – Patrice Fontanarosa, violin

30, 31   San Francisco Symphony: Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor – Christian Tetzlaff, violin

31   Musique d’Europe  Centrale: François-Xavier Roth, Conductor

L’Olympia –

3   Yael Naim

4   Hindi Zahra

5   Joe Bonamassa

6-8    Michelle Torr

9   Sufjan Stevens

11-21    Zazie

16   Cock Robin

22   Jocelyne Beroard

23   Queens of the Stone Age

24   Line Renaud

27   Katerine

29   Il Etait Une Fois Luis Mariano

31   Groundation

Le Zénith –

5   Cali

6   Tri Yann

7   La Fouine

10, 11   Ben Oncle Soul

12   Zucchero

14   Tunisie 100%

20   Soprano

21   Maroc 100%

27   La Nuit du Kompa

28   F*** Me I’m Famous

La Maroquinerie –

2   Ron Sexsmith

3   Florie

4   Brisa Roché

5   Monarchy

6    Ziggi  Recado

8   Last Days of April

9   Roger Moret & The Disasters

10   Gérald de Palmas

12   Psykick Lyirkah

13   La Ruda

15   Atari Teenage Riot

16   Josephe d’Anvers

18   30H!3

20   Wiz Khalifa

21   13 & God

23   Okkervil River

24   Cyril Mokaiesch

26   Kissinmas + Subway

30   The Tallest Man on Earth

La Cigale –

3   Les Franglaises

5   Metronomy

7    Anne Sylvestre

9   Alela Diane

10   Nikki Yanofsky

12    Panic! At the Disco

17    Beppe Grillo

18    Cristina Branco

19   Catherine  Ringer

23   Alex Beaupain

24, 25 Keren Ann 101

27   The Sonics + The Masonics

28, 29    Audrey Lamy

30, 31   Stacy Kent

Jazz Concert – Grand Foyer du Chatelet –

23   Lazhar Cherouana  & Trio Elégiaque

Jazz ClubsThe Jazz Age has never really passed in Paris.  So for the best venues around, you can check out the clubs listed below.

Sunside/Sunset –

Le Caveau de la Huchette –

Le Duc des Lombards –

Le Caveau des Oubliettes –

Le Baiser Salé –

New Morning –

Swan Bar –


Authors, Booksignings and Literary Events

American Library in Paris –

4 Evenings with an Author: Joe Ashby Porter

11 Evenings with an Author:  Scott Weber

19 Evenings with an Author: Ambassador Craig Stapleton


Village Voice Bookshop –

5 Vendela Vida reads from her latest book, The Lovers

10 Katherine Mosby reads from her latest novel, Private Affairs

12 In Memory of Hazel Rowley, friends and writers are invited to share a tribute to Hazel.


Shakespeare & Co © maitresse.typepad.comShakespeare and Company –

2 Siri Hustvedt and Celine Curiol go head to head discussing the cultural bias against fiction in general, and fiction written by women in particular.

6 James Shapiro speaks about his latest book, Contested Will

9 Tatiana de Rosnay reads from her latest novel, A Secret Kept


Assorted Paris Events

May Day

1 La Fête du Travail sees most of Paris close on this day and unions march in a parade best seen from Place de la Bastille.

Foire de Paris –

Through 8 May Everything you could possible imagine in the realm of interior design

Portes Ouvertes des Ateliers d’Artistes du Père Lachaise –

1 & 2 47 Artists and artisans open their ateliers to the public with doors open from 2 – 8pm.

L’Archipel –

9 Jay Gottlieb on piano

Le Salon de la Revue du Vin –

14, 15 The 5th edition of the wine salon offers the opportunity to talk to the experts about wine.  There are also a number of wine workshops on offer; however, you will want to download your pass online and skip the queue.

Musée National de la Marine –

16 Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms – Lauréats de la Fondation d’Entreprise Banque Populaire

23 Paysages Maritimes Grecs – Étudiante au Conservatoire de Paris

Fête du Nautisme / The Sailing Show –

14, 15 Check out what’s new in boating at the Porte de Plaisance in the 11th arrondissment.

Saint Germain Jazz Festival –

15 – 29 The streets are alive and swingin’ Rive Gauche style for the 11th annual jazz festival!

Musée Jacquemart-André –

22 Fête des Enfants

Carré Rive Gauche Fair –

27 – 29 You will have no trouble finding any type of precious objects at this street fair.  You can find the fair set up street side on Rue du Bac with over 100 dealers and art galleries participating.

Fête des Voisins / Neighbourhood Block Party

28 The city streets become one big landscape of Parisian parties as neighbours fill the streets and mingle.

Villette Sonique –

27 – 1 June A music festival reserved uniquely for up-and-coming independent labels and bands.  The music starts at Parc de la Villette.

Grands Crus Tea Tasting –

Monthly Tea Tastings in English, the first Tuesday of every month at 18H30-20H30, and the last Thursday morning of every month from 10am-12 noon.  20€/person.

Grands crus commented, with information about impact of tea utensils, type of cup & teapot for tea type, information about taste, health benefits & tea components.  Inscriptions (required 24 hrs in advance) sent to [email protected] or call 01 53 30 05 24 for more information.


Opera, Ballet and Theatre Performance


The Bolshoi Ballet Premier Programme / Flammes de Paris, Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, from May 5th – 15th

This is a ballet in four acts and seven scenes to herald the celebrations of the Franco-Russian Year.

The Bolshoi Ballet Seconde Programme / Don Quixote, Choreographers Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorski, from May 10th – 14th

Continuing in honour of the Franco-Russian year.

Rain, Choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, from May 25th – June 7th

Proving she is one of contemporary modern dance’s most important voices, Belgian Mme De Keersmaeker brings her work to the Paris stage.


Tosca, Conductor Renato Palumbo, April 20th through May 18th

A singer, a painter and a police chief … an eternal opera at its best.

Le Nozze de Figaro, Conductor Philippe Jordan (A) and Dan Ettinger (B), through June 11th 2011

The Marriage of Figaro is now heading into its seventh month of sold-out performances at the Opera Bastille. A true Mozart masterpiece!

Royal Opera House of Versailles –

Haendel: Julius César, Direction: Jean-Claude Malgoire, the 19th 20th and 22nd

About the Author:

Lisa Buros-Hutchins owns Your Paris Experience. If you know of other special events in Paris, or if you would like to have your event featured in this monthly column, please send an email to Lisa at:  [email protected]. Your Paris Experience is pleased to offer the Premium Members of offer a 10% discount on the public price of all services.

Paris, Paris: Journey Into the City of Light by David Downie. Courtesy of amazon.comAlso, visit BonjourParis French boutique, marketplace & Amazon affiliate store for all the Paris products you’ll ever need. BonjourParis has hand-selected some of our favorite travel gifts, electronics, gourmet items and gadgets for our readers … plus many Paris- and France-related books for children, travelers, scholars and dreamers.

Context Travel is perfect for intellectually curious travelers. Explore Paris on docent-lead “walking seminar” tours led by scholars and experts who lead small group and private walking seminars in Paris on art, history, architecture and gastronomy. All of our walks are capped at 6 people, providing an intimate and in-depth learning experience.Le Jazz Hot, An American Art Form in Paris ©Context Travel


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