Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
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The Festival Play of Daniel

The U.S. debut of “Haute Sphere,” a contemporary interpretation of the Nativity scene conceived by architect Sylvain Dubuisson and crafted by French porcelain manufacturer Bernardaud, will take place Dec. 7 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The exhibit will then be open to the public from December 8th through Epiphany on January 6, 2012.

“Haute Sphere” is a geodesic dome hand-crafted of 48 triangular panels of bisque porcelain with stars made of porcelain with platinum finish affixed to its interior and measuring 12 feet in height. Its impressive central feature is an engraved circular porcelain disc “aureole” with 24-carat gold finishes that rests on a bed of sand.

The piece has variable lighting that dramatically illuminates the scene and is enhanced by pre-recorded chants in Aramaic — the language spoken by Abraham, Moses and Jesus — that lend a meditative quality evoking the mystery of the Christmas season for the spectator.

This unique work was developed after Bernardaud was requested by the Church of the Madeleine in Paris to reprise a European tradition that dates back to the 13th century. In December 2010, it was first displayed at The Church of the Madeleine. In years past, the House of Dior and Chanel, to note a few of the courtiers, presented their versions of the Nativity.


The Haute Sphere on display at La Madeleine Catholic Church in Parish, France.


Interestingly, the Cathedral and the crèche share a common use of light as a theme in their designs - making our Cathedral a most fitting location for this work of art.

Bernardaud is a family owned-and-operated company founded 1863 in Limoges, France and the premier manufacturer of French porcelain. The company is recognized worldwide for its commitment to the French traditions of refinement, innovation, and creativity in the crafting of porcelain tableware, interior design objects and lighting.

“The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels provides a complementary backdrop to this unique and beautiful work of art,” says Msgr. Kevin Kostelnik, Cathedral Pastor. “We are honored to host the Haute Sphere for the first time in the United States, in the heart of the City of Angels this Christmas season.”

Admission to the exhibit is free and open during Cathedral hours of operation. Regular parking rates apply.


Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
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