Abbé Perrin (Director of...
After travelling throughout Europe to study the great theatres, Charles Garnier had the stage of the Palais Garnier built on a gradient in order to establish an ideal relationship with the auditorium: sloping with a 5% incline from upstage (the furthest point from the audience) to downstage (the area closest to the public), this so-called “Italian style’” stage enabled audiences, particularly those seated in the stalls slightly below the stage, to have a better view of the singers and dancers at the rear. At the Opéra Bastille, there is no sloping stage! As a result, when, dancers and singers perform at the Palais Garnier they have to learn to master the famous incline, renowned for being less than easy to “re-ascend”. When he took over as the Paris Opera’s Director of Dance, Rudolf Nureyev had a stage installed in the Marius Petipa Studio at the Palais Garnier with a slope identical to that of the theatre’s main stage to enable the dancers to rehearse in the conditions in which they would eventually be performing. The stage of the Opéra Bastille’s future modular performance space (2023) will also have a 5% incline. And let’s not forget the furniture and set components which need to be designed to take account of the incline… or reworked in the case of a co-production or rental involving a theatre without an Italian-style stage.
Partners of the Paris Opera’s 350th anniversary
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Institutions associated with the 350th anniversary