Tuesday, June 19, 2018


My walk took me through the Place de l'Opéra and by the opera house for which it's named. There are two operas in Paris. This one is the original, designed by Charles Garnier and opened in 1875. A new modern opera house was built in the 1980s on the Place de la Bastille.

Approaching the Place de l'Opéra from the rue du Quatre Septembre.

Unless you have a lot of time and are very patient, it's hard to get a good clear shot of the Opéra building from the place. Traffic moves through from all directions, including tall trucks and tour buses. On this day, there was a construction vehicle parked in the middle. I have to keep reminding myself that Paris is real city, not some Disney-esque attraction with built-in photo spots. Reality is a much better place, so I happily (most of the time) accept the cars, trucks, and buses as part of the landscape.

The main entrance to the Opéra. One day I'd like to go inside.

I walked through the place just after ten o'clock and started thinking about lunch. I was on my own, not scheduled to meet up with my friends until after two. Hmmm... where to go?


  1. The last time I was on or near the Place de l’Opéra was several years ago with Ken when we went, a French block away, to the century old now defunct Old England store to buy Fortnum & Mason’s Lapsang Souchong tea on sale!

  2. So grand. I actually like the gold of the truck with the gold of the figures of L'Harmonie and La Poésie (and, yes, I had to look them up). I'm sure you planned that.

  3. I did manage just the once to attend a performance in l'Opera (1986, I think) - a double bill of Puccini's 'Gianni Schicchi' and Ravel's 'L'heure Espanol'. As much as the music I recall the sumptuous decor of the place - ornate, filigree, decorative gold everywhere (very rococo!) and glittering chandeliers, both inside the auditorium and its approach up wing flights of stairs. Completely dazzling! I can't imagine any other opera house in the entire world matching it (though I may be wrong).

    Not far from this magnificent palace (and just a few hundred meters away, I think), is the Opera Comique, where 'Carmen' had its first performance - then unfairly damned by critics and public alike and setting the unlucky young composer, Bizet, off in a downward spiral leading to his tragic early death.

  4. I first got to know this area, because the American Express office was on rue Scribe, just off to the side of the Opéra. Back in '81, my only way to get cash, was to go alllll the way to the AE office, and write a check. No ATMs back then!

  5. I saw the ballet Caligula there and have also taken a tour. Both fantastic! Go inside, Walt, go! :)

  6. Oh! but to hear an opera in the most famous opera house !

  7. chm, I remember that!

    mitch, oh, yes, of course. :)

    raybeard, very cool!

    judy, yes, I remember going to the Amex office, too. Traveler's Cheques! I wonder if they still exist?

    bettyann, oh, a tour does sound interesting. I should have thought of that...

    michael, and perhaps encounter a phantom...


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