Fire-scarred Notre-Dame to broadcast Christmas concert

Fire-scarred Notre-Dame to broadcast Christmas concert
The Paris Fire Brigade tackles the flames as Notre-Dame Cathedral burns in Paris, April 15, 2019. (Reuters)
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Updated 30 November 2020

Fire-scarred Notre-Dame to broadcast Christmas concert

Fire-scarred Notre-Dame to broadcast Christmas concert
  • An organ will be rented for the occasion, since Notre-Dame’s majestic pipe organ is being carefully dismantled for cleaning and restoration
  • Restoration has reached a milestone with the removal of the last portions of metal scaffolding on the roof that melted into a tangled mess in the fire

PARIS: Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris will echo with song on Christmas Eve as it holds its first choir concert since the massive fire that nearly destroyed the gothic masterpiece last year.
An organ will be rented for the occasion, since Notre-Dame’s majestic pipe organ is being carefully dismantled for cleaning and restoration after the devastating blaze that struck on April 15, 2019.
Since then only two events have been held in the 13th-century landmark — a small mass celebrated in June 2019, and a prayer ceremony last April to mark Holy Friday.
The church remains closed to the public during the renovations.
Michel Aupetit, the archbishop of Paris, said Monday that two soloists would lead the choir and that the concert would be broadcast on radio.
Last week, the restoration reached a milestone with the removal of the last portions of metal scaffolding on the roof that melted into a tangled mess in the fire and threatened to crash to the floor.
That will allow crucial stabilization and protective work to proceed ahead of rebuilding the destroyed roof and spire.
Officials are racing to meet President Emmanuel Macron’s goal of having the cathedral restored within five years.


‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ explores strange new worlds to great effect

‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Supplied
‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Supplied
Updated 23 January 2021

‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ explores strange new worlds to great effect

‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Supplied

LONDON: Ever wondered what happens in the hallways of Starfleet’s high-tech spaceships while Captain Kirk et al are off saving the galaxy? Curious about what the 99 percent of the crew who are usually off screen get up to? Well, wonder no longer. Originally created for CBS All Access, new animated series “Star Trek: Lower Decks” has launched internationally on Amazon Prime Video, offering a glimpse into a hitherto unexplored corner of the long-running show’s universe. While recent “Star Trek” shows have taken the franchise in a more adult direction (the excellent “Discovery” and “Picard” have included the first F-bombs in Trek history), “Lower Decks” takes a decidedly more comic approach.

Ensigns Mariner, Boimler, Tendi and Rutherford serve aboard the USS Cerritos — but the closest the quartet get to the action is when they share a turbolift with one of the senior staff. While the captain and her officers get the lion’s share of the important missions, Boimler (voiced by Dennis Quaid of “The Boys” fame) and Mariner (“Space Force” star Tawny Newsome) usually wind up delivering supplies, cleaning spilled coffee, or dealing with the administrative side of meeting new alien species. It’s a clever riff on the tried-and-tested “Star Trek” format — though readers of John Scalzi’s “Redshirts” will recognize the premise at least — and there is some fun to be had by gently mocking many of the series’ tropes.

As far as adult animation goes, “Lower Decks” is far from breaking new ground. The short, sharp episode arcs are easy to follow, and boast more than a few genuine laughs (and no shortage of Trek easter eggs), but the humor is on the safe side of risqué, and the visual style feels safe and familiar. For the “Star Trek” universe, however, the kind of self-awareness that comes from mocking its own source material represents a welcome surprise. In true “Star Trek” spirit, “Lower Decks” is seeking to explore strange new worlds.