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The Opéra National de Paris, 350 years to the glory of the arts

The Opéra National de Paris, 350 years to the glory of the arts

Baptized Académie Royale de Musique, then Opéra National de Paris, this institution, dedicated to the glory of the arts, is celebrating its 350 years.

Founded in 1669, following instructions by Louis XIV, the Opéra National de Paris, also known as the Palais Garnier, has as mission to form artists and codify choreographic art. It has the monopoly for the representation of musical theater since its opening, and its backstage shelters a troop of singers, the first professional orchestra of France and a ballet corps.

350 years of glory at the Opéra National de Paris

Behind its Second Empire facade, surmounted by a dome, its role is to promote lyrical art. Molière, Lully, Rameau, Mozart, Rossini, Wagner, Verdi, Gounod, Beethoven, Balanchine, Roland Petit and Maurice Béjart were performed here under the baton of leading conductors in this temple of music lovers, which is celebrating, this year, its 350 years with an electic programmation.

Opéra Garnier Grand Staircase
The Grand Staircase, with its double spiral and polychrome ramps, is the place to see and be seen at the Opéra. © Christian Leiber
Opéra Garnier Foyer
Based on the model of the Galerie des Glaces, in Versailles, the Foyer enables spectators to gather during intermission. © E. Bauer

Visiting the backstage

Inspired by Italian models, the stage is famous for its wide dimensions : 49 meters long, 26 meters deep, 72 meters high. As for the red and gold main room, its cupola, painted by Marc Chagall, is ornamented with a huge chandelier, and it comprises three rows of private loggias. So take advantage of a guided visit to discover its history and the backstage—the venue is superb.

Opéra Garnier main room
Amongst the most oustanding auditoriums in the world, the one of Garnier also features remarkable accoustics. © Jean-Pierre Delagarde

Everything for music, at the Opéra…