August 02, 2007

Opéra Garnier


In my previous posts about « Around Place de la Bastille » you could see the new Paris opera house, Opéra Bastille, which was opened in 1989. The “real” opera house, the one we know since some 130 years, is now called “Opéra Garnier” and today mostly used for ballets. Both belong to Opéra National de Paris.

Most Parisians and tourists have never seen the inside of this building. I thought I should “offer” you some pictures from both outside and inside.

Already from outside I had a problem; there is some reconstruction work ongoing and it’s today impossible to get a total “clean” front view. I had to “steal” this one from Wikipedia. My second amateur problem was to get some reasonably good quality pictures from inside (obscurity, bright lamps…), but I did my best.

The construction took place between 1862 and 1875. It took a long time, because of unexpected ground problems, lack of money, the Franco-Prussian war, again a revolution (the Paris Commune), the fall of the Second French Empire… The opera was ordered by an emperor, Napoleon III, and inaugurated by a President of the Republic, Mac-Mahon.

A major reason to build this opera house was that the Emperor and his wife had been attacked on their way to the previous opera house (burnt down since) and wanted a more secure access with wide streets (the large Avenue d’Opéra had also to be built). For the first time in France, there was an official architect competition and a then young and unknown Charles Garnier was chosen.

Not everybody was happy with the result, the new Republic found it somehow to be too rich in decoration, but with the time I believe that most people would admit that the building is beautiful and Charles Garnier has now got the recognition of having his name linked to the house. (Please note that he later e.g. designed also the Casino and the Grand Hotel de Paris in Monaco.)

I show you some details from the outside, from the very golden Grand Foyer, from the entrance and the different corridors and salons and of course from the Grande Salle, built more for to be seen (extremely important those days) than to see; the most exclusive and expensive places were in the front of the sides. Further about the Grande Salle: There is an enormous six ton heavy lamp, originally with gas light. After a few years, the original ceiling painting was completely black. It was replaced by a painting by Marc Chagall in 1964, of course controversial (I like it).

You can find original photos concerning this post on my other blog "Peter - photos".

22 comments:

Keshi said...

not too rich at all...I love it!

Keshi.

Drama Div@ said...

Wow.... if that's the Opera, where's the Phantom?

Shionge said...

I knew we have missed something grand when we did not go inside the Opera Bastille, we came right out of the metro and snap some pictures that's all. Now I'm glad to tour the inside because of you...thank you.

Also, thank you Peter for your thoughts & wishes to me....truly appreciate that. I'll be back soon :D

ruth said...

I've never been inside, but it looks spectacular. You are very good to show us so many viewpoints of each subject you post.

hpy said...

I never went inside!

hpy said...

Or maybe I did, once, and just a little.

Chuckeroon said...

Peter, thanks for giving us such a fine view inside...this is a (as usual) a superb and most enjoyable insight for all of us. Such well chosen views

SusuPetal said...

Oh dear, everythig is not gold that glitters, but I bet I'm wrong. Quite rich!

Mélisse said...

I've never been inside the Opera either, glad you invited us for a visit, it's as beautiful I expected ! Love the ceiling too ;-)

Olivier said...

comme d'habitude, complet, intéressant , et avec de superbe photo, une encyclopedie. Tu devrais faire un tour et aide l'encyclopedie Wikipedia.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I like this elegance. It is a reminder of what was and not what is.

Thanks for visiting. And yes, the planes are the real thing on a day not made ideal by the atmosphere.

Abraham Lincoln

Cergie said...

Si mes souvenirs sont exacts, il ya une maquetet de l'opéra Garnier au musée d'Orsay (je l'ai vue de mes yeux, mais je ne me fie pas toujours à ma mémoire)
Es tu allé à l'intérieur pour un spectacle ?
De l'opéra Bastille tu ne montrais pas grand chose, il faudra y retourner
Je suis plusieurs fois allée à l'opéra Bastille pour des spectacles. C'est drolement bien conçu. C'est grandiose aussi.
Par contre, j'aimerais aller à l'opéra Garnier, je n'ai aps encore eu cetet chance, masi ça va venir un jour, c'est sur.

PS :il peut arriver que je ne lise pas bien tout ce que tu as écrit et je te demande de m'en excuser STP.)

Peter said...

drama div@:
I could of course also have included the Phantom, but I thought that my post was already a bit voluminous.

cergie:
Cette fois, je suis rentré exprès pour faire des photos.
PS Quoi?? Tu ne lis pas tout! J'ai déjà abregé au maximum pour te faire plaisir!

Heather said...

A magnificent building indeed, both inside and out! I had the pleasure of attending a ballet here as a student in 1987. My friends and I enjoyed it immensely, both the elegant decor and the ballet, though I confess our group left before the third act to go dancing.

Peter said...

heather:
I guess you are forgiven 20 years later!

Sonia said...

Wow! This post is wonderful, Peter! Stunning photos! Thanks for sharing!

Emily Lin said...

Oh.. It's really rich inside! All covered with gold!! @_@ Nice opera house! :)

Cergie said...

Je ne lis pas BIEN tout
Tu ne lis pas bien mes commentaires, Peter...

Faut que j'y aille, je suis pas en avance
A bientôt...

(Je ne commente pas auj. Fais comme si tu m'avais pas vue)

April said...

Outside it's as beautiful as inside, with all that pompous gold and the ornaments. Great for operas.

black feline said...

im blinded by the opulent golden design for close to 1 min....

Magento themes said...

The places are really very colorful..Am Happy to see this blog..I like the golden designs very much its really very attractive...

Joomla groupon said...

Now I'm glad to tour the inside because of you...thank you for your suggestions...