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.


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.


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.


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!



More info on Palais Garnier

Wiki on Palais Garnier

A view on Cities


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