travel: paris – palais garnier, tapestries

Last one I promise. My favorite part of the Palais Garnier (Paris Grand Opera) was a lobby that had exquisite tapestries on the walls. Busts of famous balerinas and singers and composers were also on display. Maybe I was drawn to the tapestries because they are textiles – but I also love that they had a little bit of empty space in the compositions. They felt a bit Art Nouveau to me.

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paris_grande_opera_33One interesting bit of information. I think I remember listening to the audio tour and it mentioning that ballerinas had to have “patrons”. They were paid so little, regardless of their fame, that they had to find a “sponsor.” As a result of this, they were looked upon as little better than prostitutes because the sponsors were men (of course) that, well, you know… expected certain favors in return for their financial patronage. Of course, the famous men as composers needed patrons too but didn’t have the same reputation. I’m hoping that, at least, has changed in our world. 

travel: paris – palais garnier, opera

They were rehearsing when we visited the Opera so we only had a quick moment to view the auditorium and see the Chagal glass in the dome/skylight. And we couldn’t take pictures. But it was pretty cool to watch the ballet dancer, a guy, dance like a chicken with more and more intensity as driven by the director. I do believe now the Palais Garner is the home of the Paris Ballet and the Opera lives over in a much newer but also large-and-built-to-impress building.paris_grande_opera_34We couldn’t go in, but we did see famous door to box number 5 where the Phantom of the Opera played Mr. Creepy Stalker.

paris_grande_opera_27The library was heaven. I love this place and want it in my home. Those folks are looking in on models of sets from various famous productions.

paris_grande_opera_35If I knew my opera better I’d probably be able to tell you what opera this was.

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Downstairs they had my favorites – costumes!!!paris_grande_opera_17

travel: paris – palais garnier, looking up, looking down

paris_grande_opera_23looking up

paris_grande_opera_25looking down

paris_grande_opera_24up

paris_grande_opera_26down

paris_grande_opera_31up

paris_grande_opera_28down

paris_grande_opera_29up

paris_grande_opera_30down (now this… I looooooove!)

paris_grande_opera_27UP… love this too. The guard didn’t love the way I took the picture though. 😀

travel: paris – palais garnier

I’m still going through pictures from last year’s trip to Paris and Greece. My daughter and I saw a lot of french architecture that I call Geschmukte. I think I might have made up that word. Baroque. Palaces that were soaring mirrored places for kings and queens and nobility as narcissistic as a certain current political candidate.paris_grande_opera_01

The Grande Opera in Paris was my favorite of the buildings in this category we toured. Perhaps because it was centered around the arts rather than a ruler made it more palatable. Or perhaps I actually found beauty here and there in the details. All together it was a little much (understatement for sure!). It’s like leaving some negative space in your artwork or in your quilting. Someplace for the eye to rest accentuates the details that you want to stand out.

paris_grande_opera_03The entire place is a stage. The grand staircase with balcony after balcony that allowed for society to present and to view itself is a stage. 

paris_grande_opera_06I love taking it in just a piece at a time. It is the same as good design in gardening – my favorite being creating paths for the eyes and rooms to experience. In a place like this that is overwhelming with detail I like to pull in and look at smaller views.

paris_grande_opera_12I love this beautiful statue, the Pythia of Delphi, sculpted by Adele d’Affray under the male pseudonym of Marcello. 

paris_grande_opera_13You can’t look up or down or sideways in this building without being bombarded by decoration. Sometimes a small bit of that decoration can be amazing! I’m glad I’m not in charge of cleaning this place.

paris_grande_opera_10One of the lobbies.

paris_grande_opera_09But if you zero in and look a little closer….. there are delights everywhere you look.

 

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