The Palais Garnier is an elegant 1,979-seat opera house, which was built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera. It was originally called the Salle des Capucines because of its location on the Boulevard des Capucines in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, but soon became known as the Palais Garnier in recognition of its opulence and its architect, Charles Garnier. The theatre was also often referred to as the Opéra Garnier, Opéra de Paris or simply the Opéra. It was the primary home of the Paris Opera and its associated Paris Opera Ballet until 1989, when a new 2,700-seat house, the Opéra Bastille, with elaborate facilities for set and production changes, opened at thePlace de la Bastille. The Paris Opera now mainly uses the Palais Garnier for ballet.
The Palais Garnier is "probably the most famous opera house in the world, a symbol of Paris like Notre Dame cathedral, the Louvre, or the Sacré Coeur basilica." This is at least partly due to its use as the setting for Gaston Leroux's 1911 novel The Phantom of the Opera and the novel's subsequent adaptations in films and Andrew Lloyd Weber's popular 1986 musical. Another contributing factor is that among the buildings constructed in Paris during the Second Empire, besides being the most expensive, it has been described as the only one that is "unquestionably a masterpiece of the first rank."
The Palais Garnier also houses the Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra de Paris (Paris Opera Library-Museum). Although the Library-Museum is no longer managed by the Opera and is part of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the museum is included in unaccompanied tours of the Palais Garnier.
The Paris Opera is the primary opera company of Paris, France. It was founded in 1669 by Louis XIV as the Académie d'Opéra and shortly thereafter became the Académie Royale de Musique. Currently called the Opéra National de Paris, it primarily produces operas at its modern theatre Opéra Bastille which opened in 1989, and ballets at the older Palais Garnier which opened in 1875.
The Paris Opera, as well as the Paris Opera Ballet founded in 1661, are the oldest and amongst the most renowned theatre and company in the world. The ballet is the parent company of the Paris Opera Ballet school (French: École de danse de l'Opéra de Paris) created in 1713 and which shared the same residence than the ballet until 1987. The school has become a world-leading school of ballet, whose former pupils won a record of 17 Benois de la Danse awards since 1992. It will celebrate its tercentennial in 2013.This pretty card was sent to me by Maria.