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Palais Garnier: A Grand Stage for Art and Entertainment

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Sunday, July 17th, 2011

The Palais Garnier, also known as the Paris Opera, Opera Garnier or  Opera de Paris, is an architectural masterpiece of the 19th century, where ballet and opera have been entertaining and evoking overwhelming emotions of a diverse range for years. It took one and a half decades to build the opera house designed by Charles Garnier. The house in the ninth arrondissement of Paris, France can seat more than 2,000 people. The opulent structure boasts a colossal crystal chandelier, weighing about eight tons, in a gold and red horseshow-shaped auditorium; and a roomy stage to accommodate as much as 450 performers. The building is embellished with statuary, columns and vibrant marble friezes. Statues of noted composers- Beethoven, Mozart and Rossini- share space with that of Greek gods. Use of gold leaf, cherubic nymphs and shinny velvet is characteristic to the Baroque style of artwork. It has inspired designs of many other buildings located across the world: the Juliusz Slowacki Theatre in Krakow, Poland, the Amazon Theatre in Manaus, Brazil and the Hanoi Opera House in Vietnam.

Palais Garnier

Photo by gadgetdude

The Grand Staircase of Palais Garnier, made from different color marbles, links various levels of the auditorium and the foyers. A pair of bronze female statues waving light bouquets welcomes the visitors at the foot of the stairway. The painted ceiling, divided into four sections, features music related allegories. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the library-museum, records opera’s history for three centuries. The permanent gallery exhibits drawings, paintings, scale models and photographs of sets. Various thematic exhibitions adorn the walls of the museum around the year. Its lavishly decorated spacious foyers buzz with activity during theater season.

Colorful mosaics created on golden background complement its avant foyer’s vault. The foyer affords a view of the beautiful staircase. Huge windows and mirrors of the grand foyer add to its vastness. The foyer ceiling has paintings focusing on music history. Doorknobs, heating grates and capitals are decorated with lyre. The painted ceiling of the Salon du Glacier, a rotunda, features fauns and bacchantes in dancing pose. Its tapestries depict champagne, orangeade, coffee, tea and other drinks, hunting and fishing.

When you are in Paris, France do not miss this grand stage of marble and gilt.  In fact, it is a museum cum theatre. If there are no live performances, browse through paintings, sculptures and architectural elements.

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer abha

Abha, a freelance researcher cum writer, loves traveling and her dream job involves adventure and writing. Trekking is one of her favorite pastimes. PROVA!!!

One response to “Palais Garnier: A Grand Stage for Art and Entertainment”

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  1. Mack Reynolds says:
    July 18th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I’ve never been to paris, but it looks like a great place for shows and art. My sister is a performing artist, and i’m sure it’d be fun to go there with her and take in a show and look at the art. From the description i can imagine it being a great place to wander and take in the beauty of the decor and architecture.


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