Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Opéra Bastille

In the early 1980s, President François Mitterand decided that Paris needed a second opera house and put into place the plans for a new opera at Bastille. The site was occupied by an old train station, closed since 1963. The station was demolished in 1984 and work on the new opera house began.

The "new" Opéra rises up behind some older buildings
on the Place de la Bastille.


The Opéra opened in July 1989, the bicentennial of the storming of the Bastille. It's almost twenty years old now, and the building has been plagued with problems. The most obvious of these is the deterioration of a lot of the façade. Reconstruction is under way now to replace most of the stone tiles that cover the building.

My friend Cheryl has been to operas in the building and says that the theater itself is beautiful. Maybe one day I'll see a production there. I first went to Paris in 1981, before this building existed. I have no memory of what the place looked like back then. And I've still never been inside the old Opéra Garnier.

2 comments:

  1. I love the collision between old and new architecture in this photo. NICE!

    ReplyDelete
  2. evol, that's what caught my eye!

    ReplyDelete

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