Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Phantom of the Opera

If you are a Phantom of the Opera fan, then odds are you will start humming the Andrew Lloyd Webber songs as you approach Opera Garnier, like Mom. We had the treat of being able to go on a tour of this world famous opera house, and it was one of our favorite excursions during our time in Paris. If you do want to tour Opera Garnier on your next trip to Paris, then I suggest you buy the tickets ahead of schedule like we did. The English language tour was already sold out by lunchtime.

Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of history to Opera Garnier, and just as much legend. The chandelier that fell and inspired the novel that Webber based his musical on? It never actually fell, but a counterweight did, killing a female theatre-goer. The underground lake that the Phantom boats across a la the River Styx? Non-existent, although there is a small reservoir beneath the opera house. Sorry to burst your bubble.

I have to say that I felt more than a bit underdressed as I walked around. Apparently, going to the theatre was never about watching the performance. For the wealthy Parisians, it was about wearing their best jewels and finest gowns and being seen. And you did get a glimpse at the sort of elaborate “costumes” that the theatre-goers wore which rivaled those of the performers. The opera house’s opulence was probably only rivaled by that of Versailles. Everything is intricately carved and painted, and everything is so vibrant and colorful. I mean, even the seats in the auditorium are this plush, crimson velvet.

Opera Garnier is a temple for music and, even if you aren’t a fan of operas or the ballet, it’s worth seeing. And if you’re a Phantom of the Opera fan, then you will get a real kick out of walking up the grand staircase like you’re in the musical number “Masquerade.” You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

No comments:

Post a Comment