Information On The Paris Opera House

The Paris Opera House is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. The history of this performance hall is dark and interesting, and spans from architecture to literature and music.

The Paris Opera House is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. It contains levels beyond levels of cellars, fountains, chandeliers and even its own ghost! The history of this performance hall is dark and interesting, and spans from architecture to literature and music.

The cause for this new opera house actually stemmed from Napoleon III. When he was arriving to the premiere of a new singer with his wife, the royal procession was bombed by a group of dissenters. Over eighty people were killed, prompting Napoleon III to ask for an opera house with a covered side entrance where royalty could enter discreetly. When plans finally were made for the design of the opera house, over 200 entries were informally submitted, and 171 were chosen to be viewed. Charles Garnier received the commission after some deliberation. He was an unknown architect, but a stunning design and several court allies hand a hand in his success.

The House seats two thousand and has seventeen stories, taking up three acres of land. Seven of these are below the ground, and two contain pieces of the famous lake later depicted in Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. Work on this structure began in 1861 and ended fifteen years later. It cost over forty-seven million francs, and gave its creators and workers a massive headache.



Part of the mystique of the opera house is the levels that it inhabits underground. There are chorus rooms, green rooms, ball rooms, set rooms, cellars for waste props, closets, dressing rooms, and many more kinds of rooms making up the building. The underground levels contains all sorts of gruesome objects from various operas that have been produced. Their gruesome effect sparked the idea behind Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera. The lake on the last floor was unintentionally sprung when a worker knocked against a pipe underground. It has been seen by a few select eyes alone, as normal tours only permit the top of the house to be seen.

The Phantom of the Opera, later turned into an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, was a book based upon the opera house. It portrays a young singer, Christine, and the Phantom who falls in love with her, Erik. Other characters include Meg, a young dancer, and Raoul, the lover that eventually wins Christine's heart. In true Parisian tradition, Leroux's tale decrees that the Phantom is a mysterious force underground, and was once a circus exhibit that went wrong. In the book, and also the show, all levels of the opera house are used, from the lowest cellar to the roof. The Phantom kills, maims and scares members of the cast, who in turn chase him down and drive him from the theater. In the original story, the Phantom commits suicide by drowning himself because he cannot win Christine's love.

The Opera House today is open for touring, and remains one of the leading spots to visit in Paris. A show in this grand house is an unforgettable event.

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