Paris’ venerable opera house was not made for me. Over the top in almost every facet, it was built to inspire the robber barons and social climbers of its day and say to everyone else: this is a nice thing you cannot have. But focus past what the Palais was meant to say – and at the way it says it – what you find will inspire anyone: the work of hundreds of astonishingly skilled craftspeople and artists. The Palais may not have been built for us, but it was built by us.
A box seat beckons at the Palais Garnier
On the Grand Staircase, the performance begins before even setting foot in the theater.
An eddy of calm off the Rotunde du Glacier
If art is about seeing the world differently, the Salon de Soleil makes it literal.
An explosion of fire and stars in the Salon de Soleil
Chagall's 2500 square foot raspberry to the stodgy establishment
A magical lens that reflects the true, gray nature of the world outside the Garnier.
Hand-set rivets dance up the underside of the cupola crowning Palais Garnier.
The ties that bind Palais Garnier
An exhalation, an incantation, and its commercialization, from the roof of Palais Garnier.
An angel of Harmony takes a break between sets
An angel looks toward the future from Palais Garnier
Jean-Michel casts his scarf to the winds atop Palais Garnier