Friday, April 17, 2015

O = Opéra Houses of Paris, French Faves - A to Z Challenge


The Paris Opéra
aka Opéra Garnier


Opéra Garnier, or Paris Opera, by Green Eye, prop DG Hudson


O = Opéra de Paris

The Opéra Garnier, formerly Palais Garnier, was built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera. The theatre historically was known as the Opéra de Paris. It soon became known as the Palais Garnier in recognition of its architect, Charles Garnier. The names may change, but the beauty remains, featuring busts of musicians / composers (Mozart, Beethoven, etc) in the front mid-section.



Opéra de Paris, or  Opéra Garnier, Paris, by DG Hudson



The Opéra Garnier, as the Paris Opéra, was the setting for the 1910 novel, The Phantom of the Opéra, by Gaston Leroux, and also the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1986. 

"Construction of the opera building started in 1862, but it wasn't completed until 1875, partly because an underground lake was discovered during the Palais Garnier construction.  The small lake still exists under the opera building.  It was the hiding place of the Phantom of the Opera, in Leroux's play.

This opera house is another meeting spot for many, as they sit on the steps to relax and people watch. A mixture of opera and ballet performances are featured in the lush interior and tours are available at various times.

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And now for something totally different in design,

The Bastille Opera

Opéra de la Bastille, Paris, WC-CC*


We were on our way to walk up the hill to Pere Lachaise Cemetery when we passed by the Opéra de la Bastille, a modern design in the location and neighbourhood of the former Bastille prison. It has become the main facility of the Paris National Opera, France's principal opera company, in conjunction with the older Opera Garnier. Some symphony concerts are held here, along with most opera performances and some ballet.

Designed by architect Carlos Ott, and located at the Place de la Bastille, this theatre can seat 3,309, and has a smaller concert hall and studio. The opera house was opened by François Mitterrand on July 13,1989, on the eve of the 200th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, to an audience that included thirty-three foreign heads of state or heads of government.

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Have you seen either of these opera buildings? Have you seen any operas? (La Boheme, Carmen, or the Barber of Seville? )

Note: I'm not an opera expert; I have, however, read the script to 'La Boheme', and listened to the two mentioned above. I like the Opera Garnier architecture and its association with the 'Phantom of the Opera'. . .

Please leave a comment to let me know you stopped by, and if you are part of the A to Z Challenge. I'll be sure to check your blog, and reciprocate. If you're not in the challenge, thanks for stopping by to visit! I try to reply to all comments.

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The A to Z Blog Challenge is brainchild of Lee, at Tossing It Out.  Please visit the A to Z blog site to find out more information and the participant list.  There are also Twitter and Facebook presences if you want to check those!



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References

More info on Palais Garnier http://visitepalaisgarnier.fr/en

Wiki on Palais Garnier
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palais_Garnier

A view on Cities
http://www.aviewoncities.com/paris/operagarnier.htm

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Opéra Bastille, Paris - Image of the building
Wikipedia Commons, 2012
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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20 comments:

  1. That building is sumptuous! The Palais Garnier I mean.

    The only opera I have ever been to is Aida. am clueless about opera so can't say I have the ability to appreciate anything, vastly enjoyed the spectacular costumes and the production in general though.

    Ciao,
    Nila.

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    1. I worked in a music library while at college and that's where I read La Boheme. Learning the story behind the opera helps. I like plays, so I like costumes, too. A couple of times I volunteered at a theatre group, too, but it was for musicals. I drafted and did the media invites for the musical, and was props manager on another for teens.

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  2. I've never been to the opera but I had a videotape of The Magic Flute which I enjoyed, and I would probably go see La Boheme. I had some employers in San Francisco who went to the SF Opera all the time....they were always exhausted the day after Wagner shows.

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    1. I would love to see a Wagner opera, since I've heard they are magnificent. Especially, I'd like to see Wagner's famous opera 'Der Ring des Nibelungen ('The Ring of ... ) where 'Siegfried awakens Brünnhilde', I wrote a post on Siegfried and Brunhildr on 21st century blog.

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  3. Opera De Paris looks like such a beautiful building!

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    1. It was originally designed as a palace, and the interior is evidence of that. I didn't go on the tour or see the inside, but I would like to.

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  4. What an amazing building. The Phantom of the Opera is one of my favourite musicals.

    Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

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    1. I like old buildings that have literary associations. I like musicals in general! Something about a live play or music thrills the senses. (at least for me)

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  5. Opera houses have amazing architectures. I've never been to one, but it's on my list of things to do. :) Like Annalisa, my favorite opera is The Phantom of the Opera.

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    1. I've never seen the opera, The Phantom of the Opera, but plan to one day, along with the Wagner one about Siegfriend and Brunhildr . .

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  6. Hi, D. G.

    Yes, I've been to the Opera Garnier... It's absolutely GORGEOUS....

    I didn't know another opera house was built in the late 80's. It's modern beauty is quite captivating....

    I am not a HUGE opera lover, but I was invited to see Madame Butterfly last year and TOTALLY enjoyed it. The music is extraordinary!

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    1. The Bastille Opera is probably a great improvement over the Bastille itself, but commemorates the history of the area. I do prefer the Opera Garnier, but I can appreciate modern design. I imagine the music would be great in Madame Butterfly, I have heard about that one.

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  7. An underground lake? I wonder how often that happens?

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    1. It likely doesn't happen often, but in Europe in an old city with underground caverns, you never know. . .a lot of the wine cellars in old Paris are below ground level, too. I know a few old southern plantations had underground wells in their deep basements. . .

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  8. Hi DG - been there! Not the Bastille ... as it's so new ..

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. That's great, Hilary. I like the fact that it opened on one of the anniversaries of the storming of the Bastille, a history link-up is always good.

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  9. I've been to the older Opera house in Paris, and would love to see the new one! I've see La Boheme and Barber of Seville, the last in France in Carcassone in their outdoor amphitheater. It was totally amazing! Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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    1. That would be lovely, Lisa! I like outdoor amphitheatres, especially under the stars in the evening.

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  10. I love the opera and can only imagine how awesome it would be to see a production in one of these houses. This certainly presents a contrast in architecture and style.

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    1. Saw the Sherlock Holmes story A Game of Shadows the other day again, and they are in Paris for part of the movie, I believe, and in the Paris Opera if I'm not mistaken. . .It looked gorgeous. I found out afterwards that they have tours there sometimes.

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