Tonight at the Opera House

Tonight at the Opera House

[July 2023] That night, we went to see a ballet at the Opera House (Palais Garnier) in Paris, which was one of the purposes of this trip to France.

What was different from previous years was that it wasn’t just us, but also a couple of friends from Fontainebleau and friends who lived in Paris.

inside Palais Garnier in Paris, France
gorgeous interior

A friend of us in Paris was coming from work by bicycle, so she was carrying a helmet and dressed in black.

It was a hot day in July, but she was wearing short boots, and looked so cool in them.

She is a real Parisienne.

Even though our friends had gathered, the seats were separated.

We had the auxiliary seats of the platea on the ground floor.

This was our second time sitting in the auxiliary seat, after the Opera Bastille a few years ago.

At the Palais Garnier, I learned that people in auxiliary seats enter at the last minute.

This is because when you open the auxiliary seats, there is no aisle between the seats on the platea.

the auxiliary seats at Palais Garnier in Paris, France
jam-packed like sardines

Therefore, people in the auxiliary seats will be called to the auditorium one by one, starting from the front, as the performance approaches.

We were number 14 and 15, which were second to last.

When I sat down, it felt really crammed together.

If anyone, including those in other regular seats, wants to go to the restroom mid-way, you’ll be in trouble.

The performance that night was “Manon”.

What was most disappointing here was that there were cast changes for the two main characters.

inside the auditorium in Palais Garnier in Paris, France
looking up from the platea

The cast for the Paris Opera Ballet is not announced until very close to the performance date, and even so, the cast change could happen.

Maybe there was an injury.

I was quite disappointed, not only because my favourite dancer was not seen, but also because she was replaced by an Etoile dancer who was not suitable for the role of Manon.

This dancer is technically good, though.

I think there are only a few dancers who fit perfectly into the role of Manon.

She shouldn’t be too cute or have a noble atmosphere.

The role of Manon would have to be played by a dancer who is sexually attractive.

Le Grand Foyer in Palais Garnier in Paris, France
the most decorative room in the Palais

Also, perhaps because it was a sudden change, there seemed to be a lack of rehearsal, and in one of my favourite scenes where she dances while being lifted up by the men, her movements were so awkward that it didn’t look fluid at all.

Anyway, it was fun to meet up with our friends every interval, chat with them, and tour around the theatre.

One of our friends said, “It’s understandable why a revolution would have occurred, since such a wonderful place was once only open to a limited number of people.”

No matter how many times I visit, I am speechless at how gorgeous it is.

Although I was a little dissatisfied with the content, I felt really lucky to be able to see a full-length ballet in such a wonderful environment.