When we were in Paris earlier this year, we decided to check the website for the Opera Garnier to see what was playing. We bought tickets on line, and you can imagine our anticipation as we arrived about 15 minutes before the Opera was scheduled to start at this magnificent architectural masterpiece.
We did not notice, however, that the performance for which we bought tickets was at Opera Bastilee, located about 20 minutes away, in this 1989 building devoid of the architectural appeal of Garnier.
This is the interior of the Opera Bastile. We have still not visited the interior of the Palace Garnier.
Although we arrived late, we bought tickets for The Valdyrie, part of Wagner's Ring Cycle. It is 5 hours long, with two intermissions, so at least we could see two-thirds of it when entering at the first intermission because of our cross-town taxi ride from Opera Garnier to Opera Bastile. Photo are not allowed during the performance, of course, but we took out a little camera during the curtain call.
It looks like the conductor, Philippe Jordan was looking right at us from our second row seats, during the curtain call. He has been Music Director of the Paris National Opera since the 2009-10 season, and beginning in 2013 he will also be Music Director of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. He is only 39.
My husband is the longest serving member of the Board of Directors of the Phoenix Symphony, so naturally he had to study the arrangement of the orchestra pit after the Opera. This photo reflects how impressed we were to see the presence of 6 harps in the orchestration of the opera.