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National Opera of Paris
the primary opera company of France
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National Opera of Paris
the primary opera company of France
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8 Rue Scribe
Paris
France

ldare's picture

Sr. Editor

Visit the Paris Opera House and see for yourself why the Phantom of the Opera would want to live here.

Also known as the Palais Garnier (English: Garnier Palace), Opéra Garnier, or Opéra de Paris was the home of the Paris Opera Ballet and the Paris Opera, until 1989, it is now mainly used for the Ballet.

Due to the high groundwater levels around the area a manmade lake was conceived to help protect the foundation and the urban legend of Gaston Leroux's mysterious Phantom was born.

Leroux also drew inspiration for his "chandelier in pieces" when one of the chandelier's counterweights accidentally killed a member of the audience when it fell through the ceiling. Watch it crash over and over.

The chandelier was designed by Garnier and weighs 7-tons and cost 30,000 francs. Patrons sitting in the fourth level boxes had a rough time actually seeing the opera because the chandelier was so huge. Garnier retorted in his 1871 book Le Théâtre: "What else could fill the theatre with such joyous life? Who else could offer the variety of forms that we have in the pattern of the flames, in these groups and tiers of points of light, these wild hues of gold flecked with bright spots, and these crystalline highlights?"

In the 1957 film Funny Face, Audrey Hepburn has a photoshoot with Fred Astaire here. Hepburn is "stood up" at the Opera and Astaire tells her to walk down the stairs with "fire in your eyes and murder on your mind" all while wearing a gorgeous Givenchy ensemble.

A trip here is totally worth it. The opulence and grandeur are absolutely mind-blowing! Be sure to go when there isn't a matinee because you won't be able to see Chagall's ceiling! Honestly, the rest of the building is totally worth it even if you don't get to see the ceiling and chandelier.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Paris Opera

The Paris Opera (French: Opéra de Paris; French: About this sound ) is the primary opera and ballet company of France. It was founded in 1669 by Louis XIV as the Académie d'Opéra, and shortly thereafter was placed under the leadership of Jean-Baptiste Lully and officially renamed the Académie Royale de Musique, but continued to be known more simply as the Opéra. Classical ballet as it is known today arose within the Paris Opera as the Paris Opera Ballet and has remained an integral and important part of the company. Currently called the Opéra National de Paris, it mainly produces operas at its modern 2700-seat theatre Opéra Bastille which opened in 1989, and ballets and some classical operas at the older 1970-seat Palais Garnier which opened in 1875. Small scale and contemporary works are also staged in the 500-seat Amphitheatre under the Opéra Bastille.

The company's annual budget is in the order of 200 million euros, of which 100 million come from the French state and 70 million from box office receipts. With this money, the company runs the two houses and supports a large permanent staff, which includes the orchestra of 170, a chorus of 110 and the corps de ballet of 150.

Each year, the Opéra presents about 380 performances of opera, ballet and other concerts, to a total audience of about 800,000 people (of whom 17% come from abroad), which is a very good average seat occupancy rate of 94%. In the 2012/13 season, the Opéra presented 18 opera titles (two in a double bill), 13 ballets, 5 symphonic concerts and two vocal recitals, plus 15 other programmes. The company's training bodies are also active, with 7 concerts from the Atelier Lyrique and 4 programmes from the École de Danse.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Paris Opera.