Les Halles of Paris

This December, New Moon Opera will be performing the operas Bagatelle and Mesdames de la Halle by Jacques Offenbach. Mesdames de la Halle is rarely performed in the U.S., but it is done almost every year in France. Part of the reason may be because the opera takes places in the storied Les Halles, an open air market in the heart of Paris, which is held dear to Parisians and has been a source of discourse on how Paris should look for over a thousand years. Les Halles was started in the 12th century on one of the marshes along the Seine. It was so successful that in 1183, the king built two covered wooden buildings to protect the more delicate wares. More merchants set up around the covered bu

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