A Night at the Opera Garnier

11657267_993309554021053_1632024435_nThanks to NYU, we got these amazing seats at the Opera Garnier to see La Fille Mal Gardée put on by the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris.

I’ve toured the theater before, but watching a performance there was an entirely different experience. We sat in private booths on the first tier. To get into the booths, you needed an attendant to unlock the door for you. It was very inefficient. There was only one door attendant per floor so we had to wait while she escorted patrons into thirty something private rooms. After passing through the tiny wooden door, you walk through a tiny little salon with a table, chaise, and mirror. In the old days, I imagine the bourgeoisie in the booths would get up from their seats and retire to the little lounge during the intermission. When you 11667241_993309557354386_1823098103_npush past the curtains of the lounge, you enter the spectacular view of the theater itself. Words (and even photos) cannot capture the beauty of this building. I tried taking so many photos and none of them could capture the grandeur of the Palais Garnier. It’s one of those things you just have to see for yourself.

I felt as if I’d hopped in a time machine back to the 1800s into one of Degas’ paintings. The theater was breathtaking on the tour, but filled with an audience, it is even more spectacular. The roar of applause as the dancers took their final bows was magical and brought the old theater to life. All of us felt this regality sitting in the booths and strolling around the Opera house.

On our way out, descending the grand entry stairs, a friend said she wish she hadn’t forgotten her ball gown and tiara in the dorm! I should have worn my glass slippers…

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