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History & Civilizations

The great opera: the show of history

75 min visit

Opéra Garnier
24 Oct → 1 Feb 2020
From Mon to Sun 10 am to 4:30 pm. From Mon to Sun 10 am to 6:15 pm during summertime.

« Discover the magic of a French-style lyric art! Ticket on site »

The Paris Opera is 300 years old! Fabulous, isn't it? Why don't you go and discover its history? From its evolution to the Romantic period, when it established itself as a new lyric genre. Would you like that? Well, for starters, if you have to remember a century, it'll be the 19th century. One city, Paris. That's where the spectacle of history begins, that's where the great French opera finds its letters of nobility. Mobilizing considerable technical and human resources - large choirs, ballet and orchestra - it is in the tradition of the grandiose of Louis XIV. But the heroes have changed! Ancient legends, Theseus and Proserpine, are followed by historical frescoes from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Marguerite de Valois and the Duke of Normandy. Grand opera is the expression of the passions of the time. La Muette de Portici (Auber), Guillaume Tell (Rossini), and finally the triumphs of Meyerbeer crystallize this craze. With paintings, set models, musical manuscripts, the exhibition offers us a spectacular journey through these years of lyrical and choreographic creation. The result of a partnership between the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Paris Opera, this exhibition is part of the programme celebrating the 350th anniversary of the institution founded by Louis XIV.


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