The French Presidential Election has my mind in Paris again. I was reminded by the Captain over at Equinoxio that I never posted photos from the beautiful Palais Garnier (Paris Opera House for those of us non French speakers). When I was in Paris last year my friend and I took in the ballet at this magnificent baroque opera house. I am afraid the beautiful building outshined the performance hands down. The ballet was probably the most excruciating artistic experience of my life, not because it is a ballet, but because it was a terrible nightmare inducing ballet. But, the price of admission was worth it just to see the gilded architectural pomp and circumstance.
On the evening of the ballet we walked up the stairs from the subway to view the sun setting on the beautiful exterior. A street musician was playing a piano like a champ entertaining the crowd.
Inside the grand staircase greets visitors who may never see the artistry of the tiled floors only because they cannot lower their chins from all of the looking up. The lighting makes you feel like you are at a candlelight performance or in a Victorian BBC drama. The ceilings are a work of art by themselves.
The auditorium, while it reminds me of the Muppets, it is a place to see and be seen. The acoustics are superb while the views might be slightly impeded depending on your position in your box. But one thing is for sure, everyone no matter where they are seated, can look up and will have their breath taken away by the chandelier and the Marc Chagall ceiling.
In my own humble way I hope France remembers itself and how beautiful and magnificent it is in this important political moment. It must remain a part of the rest of Europe so it can continue sharing pieces of perfection like this architectural masterpiece.
*My apologies for the simple photos. They were taken with my iPhone since the place is obviously too fancy for my good bulky cameras and we were too dolled up for the ballet to lug my equipment around. It’s hard to pry the camera out of my hands when I’m traveling! But I hope you will understand.