La vie est belle !

O is for L’Opéra de Paris


My theme – “26 Things I’d Like To See During Our Trip To France”


 O is for “L’Opéra de Paris” 

What is this? Qu’est-ce que c’est ?

L’Opéra de Paris has existed in one form or another since 1669 and currently has two main opera houses in Paris, (Le Palais Garnier et L’Opéra Bastille)  Le Palais Garnier, designed by architect Charles Garnier, was completed in 1867. L’Opéra Bastille was built in 1989 as a “Modern” Opera house. In fact, most of the operas produced by the Paris Opera company are performed at L’Opéra Bastille, and most of the ballets are performed at Le Palais Garnier, however it is not a strict split and both types of performances are given at both venues.

Where is it? Où est-ce?

Le Palais Garnier is located on Place de l’Opéra in the 9th arrondissement  of Paris. This is where the bus from the airport dropped off my friend J and I when we spent “Un Jour à Paris” (one day in Paris) last summer. C’était inoubliable ! (It was unforgettable) This is one of the first photos I took after we got off the bus. Thrilling!

Le Palais Garnier, Paris

Le Palais Garnier, Paris

Why do I want to go there? Pourquoi est-ce que je veux y aller ?

Because I love music, I love architecture, I love history…you get the idea by now, I think! The day I took this picture, there was no time to explore this marvel. I snapped the photo, and we kept on walking. Of course the idea that day was to walk as much as possible, see as much as possible (seulement à l’extérieur – only from the outside) and in general, I was able to form in my head a list of places I wanted to explore more thoroughly.  This “A to Z” is an in-depth, annotated version of that list, plus the list of sights to see and gastronomic delights to taste as we travel beyond Paris as well.

On the official website for the Opera, I can see that it may not be possible to see an actual opera while we are there. But it’s ok, because we can still see the inside of le Palais Garnier, and it looks like there is an “audio tour” as well. I’m anxious to see the place where Gaston Leroux set his famous novel, which I have of course read. In English translation. For now. (I have a rather impossible goal of being able to one day read these sorts of classics in the original French, but that is a long way off… sigh)

And you, dear A to Z-ers?  Et vous ?

Have you been there? Did you see an opera or a ballet? Which one? Was it just AWESOME?? Did the chandelier make you nervous at all?  Dites-moi ! 


7 Responses to “O is for L’Opéra de Paris”

  1. Rebecca Bradley

    I would love to see an opera or a ballet and this looks like the perfect place in which to do so, but at the moment, those things on my bucket list have not yet been crossed off. beautiful photo!


  2. Celine Jeanjean

    Oh I’m with you, one of my long time dreams is to go to L’Opera – specifically to see Don Giovanni which is my favourite opera.

    Are you going to read the Fantom of the Opera before you go then? Or after you’ve been so you can picture the setting more clearly? I haven’t read it in English, I read it in French years ago, it’s a fantastic book, I hope you enjoy it!



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