With choir in hard hats, fire-ravaged Notre-Dame rings in Christmas


For the first time since a fire that just about destroyed it, the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris played host to a Christmas Eve choral concert, an annual tradition in France.

In a concession to the very fact that there is still rebuilding going on in the Gothic cathedral. The choristers wore construction hard hats and boiler suits, and there was no audience.

Recording of the concert happened at the cathedral earlier this month. Just before midnight on Thursday, French television broadcasted it.

The choristers performed classical pieces by composers Mozart and Schubert, but also a more light-hearted repertoire, including “Jingle Bells.”

“It was very moving,” said cellist Gautier Capucon, describing the experience of recording the concert. Together with an organist, he provided the part for the choir.

“It was the first time we had all been back at Notre-Dame cathedral since the fire, so it was a moment filled with emotion,” he said in an interview with TV station franceinfo.

The cathedral, a landmark of style of architecture dating to the 13th century and a significant tourist attraction, caught fire on April 15, 2019. The blaze destroyed the spire and roof.

French President Emmanuel Macron undertook to revive the cathedral within five years.

But up to now, most work on the positioning has focused on making the building safe. Which is including clearing up toxic lead from the roof and spire that melted in the fire.

In the meantime, the Notre-Dame is still not open to the general public.


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