Saturday, January 07, 2012

L'Opera Garnier: a harmony of music and artchitecture

L'Opera Garnier was opened in 1875 and located on the right bank of the Seine in the 9th Arrondissement .

During my stay in Paris, my hotel was nearby and I walked past the Opera house quite often.  It occurred to me what a perfect complement of music and architecture it was.  That is true harmony of design.
With its neo-baroque , richly embellished interior style, the opera is unique among the monuments of Paris at that time, mostly by classicism and historicism. The architect wanted the opera with its own style where visitors would see and be seen. These needs in accordance with the architect created a spectacular marble staircase, the Grand Foyer , the round Salon du Glacier and finally red and gold hues.

Until the opening of the Opéra Bastille in 1989, the Palais Garnier was the largest theater in the world (even if the Vienna State Opera and La Scala in Milan have more seats). The area covers 11,237 square meters, the hall has an eight-ton crystal chandelier illuminating the staircase, and the building is constructed with over 30 different types of marble.

Outdoors, it features arch piers of the lower facade with allegorical sculptures jewelry: the lyrical poetry, the music, the idyll, declamation, singing, drama, dance and the lyric drama. Over the arc seen medallions with images of Cimarosa, Haydn, Bach and Pergolesi. In the niches of the Loggia gilded bronze busts of great composers (Halévy, Meyerbeer, Rossini, Auber, Spontini, Beethoven and Mozart) are attached. In the attic are bronze groups of lyric poetry with the Muses and the genii of Fame. The huge dome surmounted by a statue of Apollo, flanked by Pegasus figures. The side and rear facades are a relief from orbit intertwined swastikas, which is located in the upper level of the windowsills. A similar relief is also in the Sully wing of the Louvre.

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