A Night at the Opera House

Okay we didn’t really go to an opera because there aren’t any playing right now. But we did go to the Opera House to see a modern dance performance put on by the Paris Opera Ballet and backed by the Paris Opera Orchestra. And the whole evening was a real treat. The Opera House is amazing and we haven’t been inside since 1977 so I barely remembered it. It is truly stunning. And the 3 modern dance pieces the Ballet performed were creative and very well done. Of course we’re not allowed to take photos during the performance, but I do have some photos of the Opera House as well as one of the Ballet performances that I borrowed from the evening’s program.

Palais Garnier, Paris’ Opera House. It’s one of the major traffic hubs in the City of Paris.


The Opera House is the setting for French novel writer Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera , which was later made into the smash musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber. This staircase was the setting for the “Masquerade” scene in the musical.


Beautiful chandeliers in the lobby. Imagine what this must have looked like when the chandeliers had candles rather than lightbulbs in them.


The lobby ceiling.


These are where our balconies would be at home, but these are no more than 2-3 seats deep, so the whole opera house doesn’t have the number of seats that one would expect.


The special boxes next to the stage.


The seats are beautifully upholstered and look attractive. But the seats do not fold up which makes it hard for people to pass by if their seats are in the middle of the row. And there are 2 little fold-up seats on the inside of each row in the aisle for extra seating. Unfortunately, if somebody wants to get by them in the aisle, they have to stand up and fold up their seats in order to let people get down the aisle.


The ceiling in the Opera House is a real stunner. It was painted by Marc Chagall in the 1960’s.


One of the modern dance pieces performed at the Paris Opera Ballet on our visit there. (Photo courtesy of Paris Opera)

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