The Palais Garnier is France’s premier 1,979-seat opera house. More than the beauty of its opulence architecture designed by Charles Garnier, the Palais is also significant for its long history as a witness to more than 100 years of theatre and opera masterpieces. It was constructed for 15 years from 1861 to 1875 specifically for the Paris Opera. If you are planning to pay homage to this architectural gem or witness a live theatrical show within its wall, there are a few things that you might need to know before going:
Appreciate the Architecture
If you have not come to any operas or theatrical plays, you can always take time to look around the outside of the building and admire the Napoleon III style architecture of the Palais Garnier’s exterior. The features of the awe-inspiring façade were influenced by various architectural movements: Baroque, Classical and Renaissance architecture. The sculptures at the front of the Palais can also be a subject of admiration for art lovers – among the many stone art are the twin statues of the muses Harmony and Poetry. While inside and waiting for the beginning of the show that you booked, there is also a lot to view and admire in the interior. Intricate pillars, grandiose staircases, and realistic frescoes are waiting to welcome you inside the Palais Garnier.
Performances in their Original Language
You might be really excited to be an audience in one of the classic plays, films, or thrilling operas inside the Palais Garnier but you have to know that majority of the shows are not shown in their original languages. For example, the majority of operas, whose dialogs and plot are sung, are written in Italian. In some cases, French subtitles are projected onto the screen while the Italian opera is being informed. Language differences do not necessarily have to be a hindrance for you to appreciate the beauty and artistry of performance. However, it’s best to be prepared for this beforehand.
Research and Inquire Beforehand
If you are concerned about understanding the language show that you are about to see, knowing about show times you can prepare beforehand, or if you have issues concerning your vision and finding the right seat, then it is better to research and inquire about the show beforehand. Almost all the information that you might need is available on the website of the Paris Opera or the Palais Garnier’s. There you will also be able to access their contact numbers.
Finding Coffee and Refreshments
Having to find the perfect place for a meal before or after the show will not be a problem, there are a lot of nearby restaurants available for theatergoers. Inside the Palais Garnier itself, there is an exquisite restaurant called L’Opera Restaurant. If you and your companions desire coffee and dessert, there are also many cafes and bistros around the vicinity of the opera house.
Palais Garnier Dress Code
You don’t need to bother with dressing in your finest when attending the theatre, the standard dress code that is required of audiences is semi-formal to casual. Although, if you really want to live it up for the night, then you are very free to don your evening gown and tuxedo. However, you have to take note if you are attending an evening gala event, for, by default, attendees would really have to dress in their formal wear.