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2020-08-21 12:13:58

Grand Opera (Théâtre Garnier) Paris

Grand Opera (Théâtre Garnier) Paris

The French joke that even those who hate opera come to the Grand Opera, and this is no coincidence. After all, the Opera Garnier, as the theater has been called since 1989, is not only a world music scene, but also an amazingly beautiful palace with luxurious interiors, an interesting history and a special aura. Here they applauded Chaliapin and Vishnevskaya, performed with their programs Nureyev and Nijinsky, the great Picasso created the scenery, and the incomparable Chanel drew sketches of costumes for the performances. The Grand Opera has long been an iconic place in Paris and one of the hallmarks of France.

The history of the emergence of the opera house in France

The history of the Théâtre Garnier is inextricably linked with the time of the emergence of opera in France as a unique cultural phenomenon. Paris posters in 1659 announced the first French comedy set to music and written by the French people Cambert and Peren. Louis XIV, a great admirer of the fine arts, legitimized the emergence of a new genre by his royal decree, and the task immediately arose to construct special buildings with good acoustics to replace fairground booths and home theaters. A bright figure of those years, the prefect of Paris, Baron Haussmann, immediately caught the new trends and announced a competition for the construction of the theater. Among one and a half hundred projects, sketches by Charles Garnier were selected, who submitted an incredibly luxurious and rich layout for competition, which was approved by the king's wife. In 1669 the Academy of Music under the patronage of the crown opened its doors to fans of the new genre, and this year can be considered the year of the birth of the Grand Opera in France. The French people have managed to preserve to this day the creation of a talented architect, incredible in beauty and grace, which now bears his name.

The architecture of the Grand Opera

Garnier wanted the Grand Opera to surprise and make a strong impression on the audience even before the performance began, and he fully succeeded. The gallery at the base of the building and the colonnade supported by it are abundantly decorated with stucco molding, antique masks are replaced by floral ornaments, the greatest composers are captured in bronze busts on the facade. Muses, personifying poetry, dance, drama and music, crown the main body of the building, and a bronze dome with a green patina soars upward, lifting the statue of the patron of the arts Apollo to the sky. It is curious that this sculptural composition, in addition to its aesthetic function, also serves as a lightning rod. On the western pediment of the Grand Opera, where the main entrance for the emperor was equipped with a ramp for the entry of carriages, you can see the image of Maestro Garnier himself, who created this architectural masterpiece. The maestro exported the stone for the construction of the Grand Opera building not only from different parts of the European continent, but even from Africa: this affected the variety of shades of different parts of the facade and gave the theater additional grace and beauty.

The main areas of the Theater Garnier:

  • Lobby. Here guests are greeted by sculptural images of composers Rameau, Lully, Gluck and Handel, the unique frame of each window belongs to the hand of Charles Garnier himself
  • Rotunda of subscribers. Arabesque-decorated ceilings and statues were intended for the eyes of aristocrats and high officials
  • Rotunda of the Sun and the Foyer of the Moon. Thought of like smoking rooms
  • Main staircase.
  • Theater hall. Marc Chagall participated in the decoration of the ceiling of the central chandelier of the hall
  • Rotunda of the Emperor. It was supposed that this would be a special entrance to the theater for the emperor Napoleon III, who feared attempts
  • Library and Museum. Here are books and exhibits that tell about the past and present of the Grand Opera
  • Foyer for dancers.
  • Intermission foyer with a mirrored salon.

Interesting Facts

  • In 1907, sealed urns with gramophone records were walled up on the lower tier under the Grand Opera as a message to future generations. Since 1988, the bookmarks found during the restoration have been moved to the State Library of France, where they were kept until 2007, then the recordings were extracted and released in CD format
  • There is a pool with carps in the basement under the theater
  • One of the lodges was given to the eternal possession of the "phantom of the opera" from the book of the same name by Gaston Leroux.

The object belongs to theaters.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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