Our Tour of the (Old) Paris Opera House

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Opera Garnier
Phantom of the Opera
Victor Hugo

We were impressed that this historic building is a working opera house with a compete schedule of performances and events, but this limited our access to all areas of the building, due to rehearsals and event set-up

Old Opera
We secured tickets to the English Tour at the Paris Opera House
You could come in to the Box Office the day of the tour, where the tickets quickly sell out
Or we suggest you buy the tickets online in advance

We met early, entering through the back, in a staging area where historically Opera Subscribers also entered.
Patrons would arrive early to prepare and adjust themselves in a room of large mirrors, before ascending the stairs up into the opera house

We were given very good earphones and could hear every word from our Tour Guide
We learned about Paris, Parisian’s reaction to art and what it meant to attend the Opera many years ago
(going to the Opera for Ice Cream was a new phenomena at one time)

We did not see the Opera House Auditorium. I expected to see the Chagall painting at the top of the ceiling dome.
We did not see the basement, where we expected to see an underground body of water
(like in the Phantom of the Opera)
We were told this is partially due to terrorism concerns (?) and if we knew security, police or firemen, then we could maybe gain access

Down Under at the Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris Bonjour Paris (the Insider’s Guide)

We did not see the backstage area.
Although, the Musee D’Osay has a detailed scale model of the Opera House which shows the back stage area, the scene risers, etc.
(it is almost better than the Opera House because you can see every structural element)

We were asked to exit through the Gift Shop, which is absolutely tacky and crass, but also just “good business.”

However, whenever we want to attend the Opera in Paris, we choose the Opéra comique instead

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