A little alert for everyone. Early today I received a message from a correspondent in the US attaching a petition about the destruction of the Salle Pleyel in Paris. Sign the petition to Mr Villepin to stop it! The pleas seemed convincing, and before having my second cup of coffee I went into the site, signed the petition and forwarded the message to some people I thought would be interested.
A message promptly came back from an agent friend saying that actually the Salle Pleyel has been beautifully refurbished and the programme for next season is excellent. Another well-informed correspondent tells me that the acoustics are being done over by Russell Johnson. It does seem to be true, as the petition protested, that the number of seats has been reduced considerably and that the hall will be housing other kinds of music besides classical concerts. But it also seems to be true that the work is pretty much finished & that this is a strange moment indeed for such a petition to be doing the rounds.
I can't prove that the protest isn't genuine, of course, but I urge caution if you're on the receiving end of this since I've spent the better part of this morning sorting out the mess resulting from forwarding flawed info too fast.
UPDATE, 4pm: It seems sensible to let you all make up your own minds on this, so:
Here's the petition;
Here's the hall's official site containing all the information about the refurbishment.
The season opens in mid-September.