The Magnificent Opera House of Paris
The Palais Garnier, the national opera house of Paris, is a magnificent building dripping in ornate details and glittering with gold. The five-ton chandelier, made famous in the Phantom of the Opera, still takes center stage in the auditorium. It is surrounded by a swirling, colorful ceiling painting by Marc Chagall. The decoration goes beyond the auditorium: The Grand Foyer rivals the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, and the Grand Staircase is an entryway fit for royalty. You don't need to buy a ticket to the opera to see the space: Tours are given daily in a variety of languages.
By Alison Cornford-Matheson, AFAR Local Expert
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A Night at the Opera
You don't need to understand French to understand opera and, anyway, these days most of the performances at the Opera Garnier are dance. Everything from the contemporary Jerome Robbins to the classic Nureyev, the sublime Pina Bausch to the spectacular Balanchine. There is still some opera, this year they've announced what promises to be a stunning presentation of Carmen and surprising Hansel and Gretel by Engerbert Humperdink (who knew he wrote opera?). There are also a few classical music performances each season. Whatever is happening on stage, the room is gorgeous and you're sure to be enthralled with the master piece on the ceiling painted by Marc Chagall.
By Sylvia Sabes, AFAR Local Expert
One of the most famous scenes in all of classical ballet is the Kingdom of the Shades, from La Bayadère, a ballet first staged at the Bolshoi in 1877 to choreography by the acclaimed Marius Pepita. While the ballet has long been popular in Russia, it arrived later in the west, thanks to a production using Rudolf Nureyev’s updated choreography at the Royal Ballet in London. (It was the acclaimed dancer and choreographer’s last ballet.) This winter, the Opéra National de Paris will be performing Nureyev’s staging of this tale of the tragic romance between a soldier and a temple dancer at the Opéra Bastille. From November 17 to December 31, 2015. Photo by midorisyu/Flickr.
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10 Place de l'Opéra, 75009 Paris, France