I went to the Opera Garnier the other day. Beautiful building straight out of a fairy tale! It’s elaborate and ornate – frankly, it’s exactly what I would expect from an opera house. Empress Eugenie, wife of the third Napoleon, apparently asked Garnier (the designer) “What is this style? It’s not a style. It’s not Greek, Louis XVI or even Louis XV!” Garnier said, “No. It’s Napoleon III. And you complain?” Opera now takes place in the Opera Bastille but Opera Garnier is still used for ballet and modern dance. This is the place that was the inspiration for Phantom of the Opera – and there really is a lake underneath it!
The exhibition (I could take photos – yea!) was of a past opera singer Regine Crespin. They had videos of her you could watch (amazing) and loads of stage photos as well. But the best part was they displayed many of her costumes! They are dreamy – princess heaven! Even the costumes for Carmen and other less flashy roles…incredible. Loved it!
On the subject of dresses…..
I have been excited about going to the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit since before I came to Paris. Unfortunately (sorry, Kimmy) – no photos! I was really disappointed and I did NOT buy the book – 50 Euros! C’est criminel! However, the exhibition was fabulous! Oh my goodness, the dresses, the suits and more dresses. They had rooms upon rooms full of them.
There was a whole wall dedicated to black dresses and suits – and as everyone knows…I love black! I’m telling you, if I worked there, I would risk being fired just to try a few of them on! I think my favourite were the dresses from the late fifties to mid-sixties – I looked at them and every single one of them I would wear today!
(The Petit Palais, where the exhibition was held, is a lovely museum as well and worth visiting on it’s own. A lovely, varied art collection and a charming jardin with a cafe.)