Opera Garnier, named after the architect who designed it in 1862, was immortalized by writer Gaston Leroux in his Phantom of ... More
Palais Garnier (Paris National Opera)
Opera Garnier, named after the architect who designed it in 1862, was immortalized by writer Gaston Leroux in his Phantom of the Opera. The architecture is a mixture of baroque, classical, Greek and Napoleonic styles. Adorned with mosaics, the foyer has a cupola decorated by painter Marc Chagall and an impressive Rococo staircase, which leads to the theater's magnificent reception rooms. Outside, four stone statues represent allegories of Music, Lyric Poetry, Lyric Theater and Dance. Since the opening of the Opera Bastille, the Opera Garnier has concentrated on dance.
You can literally spend half of your memory card just taking pictures in this historical building. It's just so beautiful, describing the grandeur of Parisian aristocrats. However, the building is closed around 1 hour before a show, so get in early or you're gonna be kicked out.
Whether you see a performance or simply take a tour during the day, the Opera Garnier is definitely worth a visit. I highly recommend taking one of the daily guided tours. Or, you can stroll through the theater on your own. Of course, seeing an opera and ballet there would be the highlight of any trip to Paris.
A trip to Scotland put us nearby, airline special ($60 for two to Paris) allowed us to come. As fans of ALWs Phantom of the Opera and the story in general, we had to visit the start of it all. We didn't expect the opera house to be as grand as it is. Absolutely amazing. If you are a theatre buff (as far as the workings of the theatre), I suggest you also visit the Musee d'Orsay and see the scale cutaway model of the Opera Garnier. It is something to behold. It can be found at the rear of the first floor.. just beyond the below floor model of the streets of Paris. (I also recomment the Visite and Metro passes--they are well worth it.. Metro pass is good for Metro and buses within specified zones. Visite pass is good for admission to many of the sights in Paris!!
Can't wait to return.. Brushing up on our French now. BTW, most of the people we encountered were very helpful as far as our minimal French.. especially when we admitted our French was bad..
Le Palais L'Opera Garnier is a favorite haunt of mine. I love going there during the day to do pen and ink drawings of some of the over-the-top ornate decor! If anyone has not been in a room that looks like what I imagine heaven to look like, this is it! The auditorium, itself,is gold leaf and red velvet all over! The seats are red velvet with a foot warmer underneath (those cold, wet winter nights in Paris make these a real plus!) he ceiling has a painting by Chagall which characterizes some of the operas and ballets that are stables in the L'Opera's repertoire. Gold-leaf figures and very Rococo-style ornamentation surround the viewer, which, to American eyes, may seem overwhelming. Even the walls and ceilings of the box seats are covered in plush red velvet! There is, of course, the Grand Staircase in the entrance hall of marble, and the balconies overlooking the stairwell, but my favorite room is the ball room on the second floor toward the front of the building; covered in gold gilt with lovely Rococo-style paintings; it is what Donald Trump would fall in-love with it is sooo elegant! It truly is the Epitome of Elegance! Go to a performance, esp. an opening, where you may see aristocracy in glamorous formal gowns! (PLEASE don't wear jeans and t-shirt). Ballet is usually performed here, and there is most likely a performance every night.
When one emerges from the metro and looks upon it for the first time, one can't look away. It is so magnificent down to the last detail that you pause to take it all in. The grandeur of the inside is even more exquisite; a definite must see in Paris.
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