I spent my Saturday afternoon at the extravagant Palais Garnier. Louis XIV founded the Opera in 1669 and this theatre opened in 1875.
The Phantom of the Opera is my all-time favorite musical (I’ve seen it at least 6 times), so it was really interesting to be in the presence of the theatre that inspired it. The grand chandelier actually did come crashing down, just like in the play.
I learned that the red velvet color was selected to reflect a rosy blush color upon ladies’ cheeks. I love how thoughtful and intentional design is here in Paris. You can even see Box 5, the place supposedly reserved for the Phantom.
Can you tell this grand hall was inspired by the Hall of Mirrors at the Chateau de Versailles? What a dream. The connected hallway was originally designed to allow guests to step outside the auditorium to smoke and socialize. Can you imagine such a hall built just for that?
Back then (for the privileged), going to the opera was just something one did, like going to the movies on the weekend. People never came on time, as arriving late meant that you had other important affairs to attend to. That’s why the ballet often doesn’t happen until the third act.
This entire venue is just stunning. I really hope to see a ballet here one day.