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.
One 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.