The interior consists of interweaving corridors, stairwells, alcoves and landings, allowing the movement of large numbers of people and space for socialising during intermission. Rich with velvet, gold leaf, and cherubim and nymphs, the interior is characteristic of Baroque sumptuousness.
The building features a large ceremonial staircase of white marble with a balustrade of red and green marble, which divides into two divergent flights of stairs that lead to the Grand Foyer. Its design was inspired by Victor Louis’s grand staircase for the Théâtre de Bordeaux. The pedestals of the staircase are decorated with female torchères, created by Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse. The ceiling above the staircase was painted by Isidore Pils to depict The Triumph of Apollo, The Enchantment of Music Deploying its Charms, Minerva Fighting Brutality Watched by the Gods of Olympus, and The City of Paris Receiving the Plan of the New Opéra. When the paintings were first fixed in place two months before the opening of the building, it was obvious to Garnier that they were too dark for the space. With the help of two of his students, Pils had to rework the canvases while they were in place overhead on the ceiling and, at the age of 61, he fell ill. His students had to finish the work, which was completed the day before the opening and the scaffolding was removed.
The steps and the gallery of the main entrance lead to a first arched vestibule cradle. Four large stone sculptures immediately catch the eye. At the effigy of great composers of the xvii th and xviii th centuries, they represent a larger scale that nature, left to right, Rameau, Lully, Gluck and Handel seated position (each representing a country music: France, Italy, Germany and Great Britain).
The location provides the ticketing for the public not belonging to the circle of subscribers. The wickets, framed by pilasters and columns engaged with backsplash and each surmounted by a carved pediment, were designed by Garnier in person. The vestibule also houses a small shop, recently manufactured, both bookstore and souvenir shop.
This interior gallery then leads, after having crossed a few steps, to the vestibule of the Control then to the grand staircase.
Vestibule of Control
Buffer space between the large vestibule and the staircase of honor and separated from them thanks to large degrees including only a few steps, it allows the filtering of the entries before the spectators, equipped with their tickets, can not access the great hall and representation.
Rotunda of Reception
Charles Garnier only signed his work in the former rotunda of the Subscribers. A ceiling is decorated with arabesques where one manages to read: “Jean Louis Charles Garnier Architect 1861-1875”. At the same level, at the foot of the Grand Staircase, there is the basin of La Pythie where a jet of water formed, formerly, a foggy veil through which one could see the statue of the Pythia, oracle of the temple of Apollo, a work sculpted by “Marcello”, artist’s name of Adèle d’Affry, Duchess of Castiglione-Colonna. There are also caryatids in polychrome marble from the scissors of Jules Thomas.
Other spaces for the enjoyment of the public precede or accompany the homes, such as the “Rotunda of Glacier” placed at the end of the gallery of the bar. At the beginning of xx th century, a bell installed in all wells of the theater, allowed it to be used directly, drinks.
Place of distribution of refreshments, it is characterized by its luminosity and its ceiling painted by Georges Jules-Victor Clairin, a round of bacchanals and fauns. All around is arranged, between the windows, a series of eight tapestries from cartons painted by AJ Mazerolle. These works represent the various drinks that can be ordered: “champagne”, “coffee”, “tea”, “orangeade” and other beverages, but also “fishing” and “hunting”.
Completed well after the opening of the Opera, the rotunda is closer to the style of the “Belle Epoque” or the “1900s”.
Places of strolling and meeting between spectators before each performance or at the moment of intermission, the hearths are vast and the rich decoration does not leave the least square centimeter unused. The mosaic is omnipresent, especially in the foyer (or “foyer of mosaics”), a transition space between the void of the grand staircase and the large foyer. The barrel vault of the hearth is covered with delicate tesserae and bright colors, all set against a gold background. A bird’s eye view of the grand staircase decorates the place.
Basin of the Pithye
Once past the subscribers’ rotunda, the Pythia basin leads to the grand staircase and the sumptuous nave thirty meters high. This nave, built in marbles of various colors, houses the steps of the double-revolved staircase that leads to the foyers and the different floors of the theater. At the bottom of the stairs, a veritable theater in the theater, two feminine allegories holding bouquets of light greet the spectators.
The work is remarkable for its layout, the height and volume of its nave previously unpublished, the magnificence of its interior facades, and the variety of materials used (marbles in subtle colors, onyx and copper handrails, innumerable paintings, mosaics and gilding). The scale and ingenuity of its distribution and decoration have made this grand staircase one of the most celebrated and appreciated places of the Palais Garnier.
At the foot of the stairs, two statues candelabra in bronze of Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (called Carrier-Belleuse) represent female figures holding lights to gas and electric. The staircase is in white marble, and its steps are divided in several degrees with broad and impressive volutes slender with refined curvatures. The steps of the grand staircase, which go from the concave to the convex, are in white marble of Seravezza; only one of them is right. They thus marry the curvature of the onyx balustrade, whose base is ingreen marble from Sweden and the 128 balusters in antique red marble.
The first flight of this grand staircase leads to the corridor leading to the amphitheater, the parterre, the orchestra and the dressing – rooms. The following flights provide access to other clearances and small terraced balconies on the four inner facades twin columns and three bays of arches and the different lounges, homes. On both sides, from the ground floor, there are very large staircases that lead to the circular corridors leading to the lodges of all the different levels of the theater. In their center are elevators.
The ceiling is composed of four arches on canvas strengthened, the painter Isidore Alexandre-Auguste Pils, Grand Prix de Rome in 1838, to the north, The Triumph of Apollo, south, Charm music, west The city of Paris receiving the plans of the new Opera, and finally to the east Minerva fighting the brutal force before Olympus meeting. These works are illuminated by the canopy of a lantern completing the composition.
The Opera Garnier, or Palace Garnier, is a national theater and lyrical choreography vocation and a major element of heritage 9 th arrondissement of Paris and the capital. It is located Place de l’Opera, at the north end of the Avenue de l’Opera and at the crossroads of many roads. It is accessible by metro (Opera station), by the RER (line A, Auber station) and by bus. The building stands out as a monument particularly representative of eclectic architectureand historicist style of the second half of the xix th century. On a conception of the architect Charles Garnier retained following a competition, its construction, decided by Napoleon III as part of the transformations of Paris conducted by the prefect Haussmann and interrupted by the war of 1870, was resumed at the beginning of the Third Republic, after the destruction by fire of the opera Le Peletier in 1873. The building is inaugurated on January 5, 1875by President MacMahon in the third Republic.
Designed by the architect Charles Garnier in 1875, the Palais Garnier houses a prestigious auditorium and public spaces (grand foyer, rotunda of subscribers, salons), a library-museum as well as several rehearsal studios and workshops.
The “Italian style” theater, whose ceiling was painted by Marc Chagall in 1964, can accommodate 2054 spectators. With nearly 480,000 visitors a year, it is one of the most visited monuments in Paris. It is classified as a historical monument since 1923.
This opera was called “Paris Opera” until 1989, when the opening of the Opera Bastille, also opera in Paris, influenced its name. It is now designated by the only name of its architect: “Opera Garnier” or “Palais Garnier”. The two operas are now grouped together in the public industrial and commercial establishment “Opéra national de Paris”, a French public institution whose mission is to implement the performance of lyric or ballet performances, of high quality. artistic. The opera Garnier has been classified as a historical monument since October 16, 1923.