Opera Garnier, Paris
Paris's magnificent opera house is one of my favourite buildings in the city. I've walked past it and inside it, but unfortunately have never attented a performance. I imagine you'd have to dress up very well for an evening here and I've never had brought my posh clothes to Paris!!
The opera house is named after its architect, Charles Garnier, who won the commission to build it in the mid 19th Century. The building was completed in 1874, thirtenn years after construction began. It was the
For over a century it was the main opera house of Paris and provided the setting for Gaston Leroux's Phantom of the Opera. Nowadays, it is used primarily to host ballets as most operas are held at the Opera Bastille.
It's difficult to get a clear view of the old opera house -- from close up it is buried in the busyness of the area around it -- which includes the American Express Office, the terminus of the Roissybus from the airport and numerous cafes and hotels.
With the opening of the Opera Bastille, the Palais Garnier became mostly a theater for dance. The Paris Opera Ballet performs here, as well as visiting dance companies. You can check the website below for information on tours. The Palais Garnier is most noted for the Chagall ceiling.
Please click on the picture to see the detail.
Dress Code: I've seen everything here, but try to be a *bit* chic -- make sure that t-shirt is black and without lettering :)
When we saw the inside of Opera Garnier, we gasped in amazement at the beauty. My husband and I paid fortune for the tickets at La Scala in Milan, Italy. But this time we could get opera tickets very reasonably through Garnier web site. French Opera House was great in its building and performance. It is fantastic way of spending a special night.
Every one admires the painting on the ceiling by Chagall but for me it felt somewhat mismatch. The glass pyramid, the new Arc de Triomphe, French people has a talent for boldly combining the new and the old.
Dress Code: Elegance / Formal
Garnier Opera (Paris Opera House)
'Phantom of the Opera' is my favorite musical, so a chance to visit the house that inspired the passion was too much to resist. I had hoped for a tour of the infamous flooded basement where the fictional phantom lived. In reality, the basement is flooded by a subterranean lake but it's not nearly as dramatic as the stage adaptation suggests. There were no tours of the basement, so I inquired about tickets. The night's performance was sold out as it was a new ballet opera that enthralled the locals. Instead, I took a chance and waited for hours in the will call line. Hours later, seven people in front of me and 50 behind waited for a chance to claim an unused ticket. Luck was on my side and, for only about $20 USD, this romantic soul spent five hours in a red velvet chair in an upper stall completely mesmorized by an opera ballet. Being that I had the cheap seat, I could easily admire the archetectural details ... of the ceiling, that is. But what a ceiling it is. Here's a photo of the famous chandelier that inspired the 'Phantom of the Opera.' Look closely to see the work of Marc Chagall who painted the ceiling in 1964.
Dress Code: Locals are used to seeing tourists in jeans and tennis shoes at the opera, but try to dress nicely.