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02/13/14 Le Carmen

The grand old townhouse at 34 rue Duperré in Paris’s South Pigalle (“Sopi”) neighborhood was where Georges Bizet wrote the opera Carmen in the late 19th century. What inspired such artistry is, today, what spurs abandon in a more nocturnal setting. The property has been transformed into a boudoir de nuit bearing the name of Bizet’s famous opera, and boasts chandeliers, ornate ceilings, and small salons presided over by Roman columns and candlelight.

Amid the Eyes Wide Shut-like space, patrons are privy to drop-ins from an independent crop of talents. “This is the place where all the cool bands come to do their after-shows and DJ sets,” says Le Carmen’s Bruno Wandel, who rattles off Foals, Laura Mvula, Phoenix, Palma Violets, and Lianne La Havas among its guest acts.

The venue is also in tune with the style realm, housing the fashion week after-parties of labels such as Kenzo, Carven, and more recently, Miu Miu. Owing to its history, the place has itself become a magnum opus, albeit of alt-anthropology: resident DJ Pornkid is a photographer-journalist during the day, while the occasional cocktail-fueled book club is also held here. Quite the composition indeed.

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