Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Paris Opera


Built in neo-baroque style, Garnier Palace is the 13th Theater to host the "Opera de Paris" since its creation by King Louis XIV back in 1669.

The Opera, nowadays known as "Palais Garnier" or "Opera Garnier", was inaugurated on January 5, 1985, after 15 long years of the execution of Charles Garnier;s project, its sole architect and builder from its inception.

Apollon, la Poésie et la Musique by Aimé Millet

Renommée tenant Pégase par la bride by Eugène-Louis Lequesne

Among other sculpture pieces, relief and bas-reliefs, the main façade displays Guilhaume's "La Musique Instrumentale", François Jouffroy's "L'Harmonie", "La Danse" by Carpeaux, and Perrauld's "Le Drame Lyrique", that were publicly unveiled on Sunday July 25, 1869.

"La Danse", due to its distinguishing style, dissimilar from the other academic sculptures, has faced severe criticism including from current Press that, due to prevailing Puritanism, has suggested that it be withdrawn from the Palais Garnier.

La Danse by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux

L'Harmonie by François Jouffroy

Le Drame Lyrique by Jean-Joseph Perraud

Masks by Jean-Baptiste-Jules Klagman
La Poésie et la Musique by Charles-Alphonse-Achille Gumery

Bach's Medallion by Charles-Alphonse-Achille Gumery

Beethoven's bust by Louis-Félix Chabaud

Inside Architecture

The grand stairway

The Grand Hall, the Palace entrance, has been projected with a certain simplicity to contrast with the richness and opulence of the Grand Stairway that it precedes.

In conceiving this space Charles Garnier got inspiration from Bordeaux Grand Théâtre's great stairways, designed by Victor Louis, to create a sumptuous ambience endowed with several balconies decorated in previous marbles, permitting the frequenters to have a glimpse of the upcoming people and, of course, to be seen themselves.

The Grand Hall
Hush! Can you hear this far away sound? The spectacle has begun, but you can go on hearing the play while enjoying the way to "La Salle".

The Grand Stairway

Torchère au tambourin by Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse

The Grand Stairway ceiling by Pils
La ville de Paris recevant le plan du nouvel Opera

The Grand Stairway - The door by the Caryatides
La Comédie, La Tragédie by Thomas

Avant Foyer by Charles Garnier

Le Grand Foyer

Le Grand Foyer - Ceiling

Le Grand Foyer - Ceiling - Detail
La Tragédie by Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry

Le Grand Foyer - Ceiling medallions by Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry

Le Grand Foyer 1937
Monument to Camille Saint-Saëns by Henri-Louis Bouchard

Le Grand Foyer

The Glacier Salon

The Glacier spaces, never completely concluded, maintain their original look and objective: service and comfort area for the incoming persons from the Foyers.

They include one rectangular salon, a round one, and a gallery, passageway to the Grand Foyer.

The round Salon ceiling is decorated with masterpieces concluded in 1889 - the "Bacchanale" painted by Georges Clarin and two busts & tapestries from the Atelier Gobelins representing the beverages one can there savor: "le champagne", "le café", "le thé", "l'orangeade, and others such as "la pêche" and "la chasse".

Le salon du Glacier

Le salon du Glacier - Ceiling
Bacchanale by Georges Jules Victor Clarin

Le salon du Glacier - Gobelins Tapestry
Le café by Alexis-Joseph Mazerolle

Le salon du Glacier - Gobelins Tapestry
Le vin by Alexis-Joseph Mazerolle

The Main Hall

Garnier conceived it in French way, where the red should highlight the youth and splendor of women.

And Garnier himself designed the seats with innovative style and superior comfort, far better than all known at that time.

It can accommodate 1979 seated spectators, and the stage is suitable and large enough for 450 artists.

The crystal chandelier

The crystal and bronze Chandelier, weighing 7 metric tonnes, bearing 340 lamps was executed by Coboz under Garnier's design and supervision.

The Main Hall
La Scénographie by Michel-Louis-Victor Mercié

The Main Hall
La Musique by Justin-Chrysostome Sanson

The Main Hall - Detail by Charles Garnier

The Main Hall
Crystal Chandelier - conception by Garnier, execution by Corboz

The Main Hall - Vault - 1964 - Marc Chagall

The Main Hall - Vault - 1964 - Marc Chagall

The Main Hall - Vault - 1964 - Marc Chagall

And It's Curtains

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