Charles Garnier's genuine masterpiece, the Palais Garnier is impressive for its lavish interior design, its sculptures, busts and mosaics, and its play on light and colour. The public areas of the opera house, laid out around the Grand Staircase and the main auditorium, are made up of saloons and foyers that can host up to 2,000 people for a cocktail.
Decked out in red and gold, lit up by a huge crystal chandelier and enhanced by the warm, bright colours of the ceiling painted in 1964 by Marc Chagall (a work commissioned by the Minister of Cultural Affairs, André Malraux), the Italian-style theatre contains 2051 velvet-covered seats.
The huge, richly decorated foyers are the special haunt of audiences during intervals. The Avant-Foyer stands out for its mosaic-covered vault in shimmering colours on a gold background, offering a magnificent view of the Grand Staircase hall and the Carré des Caryatides.The Grand Foyer was designed by Charles Garnier to echo the galleries of Classical period châteaux. Its huge size is further accentuated through the play with mirrors and windows. The magnificent ceiling painted by Paul Baudry illustrates musical themes. The lyre, the main decorative component, dominates the entire decorative vocabulary, on capitals, heating grids and door handles alike. A copy of the bust of Charles Garnier by the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux stands in the centre of the foyer, near one of the windows providing a view down the Avenue de l’Opéra as far as the Louvre. The two galleries communicate, providing plenty of room for Gala dinners (up to 700 people). An extension of the Grand Foyer, the openwork Loggia provides a unique view over the Avenue de l’Opéra.
This circular space was once reserved for the subscribers, who entered it via the covered entrance on the east façade, now the Opéra Restaurant. The area devoted to the new box office on the other side, on the west façade, provides a more extensive view of the Rotonde des Abonnés, and has room for a larger number of guests. The majestic Pythia Fountain under the Grand Staircase is to be found beyond the Rotunda.
A light, airy rotunda adorned with a painted ceiling by Georges Jules-Victor Clairin and tapestry cartoons illustrating a variety of drinks, together with hunting and fishing scenes. This saloon was added after the Opera had opened, and has a distinct 1900s touch. It provides a more intimate setting ideal for cocktails and suppers.
A light-filled gallery with broad picture windows providing extensive views of the city, this saloon is an excellent venue for cocktails, suppers and lectures.
The Opéra Bastille, designed by the Canadian-Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott, was inaugurated on 13 July 1989. Its design makes play with lines, transparencies and light-coloured materials (white Verona marble floors, walls finished in Valreuil limestone and blue granite), which set off interiors featuring pear wood, black wood, luminous frosted glass and polished stainless steel. The opera house provides a unique collection of performance areas, with a main theatre seating 2,745, an amphitheatre seating 500 and a studio seating 230, surrounded by foyers.
Cette salle chaleureuse de 230 places a été spécialement étudiée pour que ses qualités scénographiques et acoustiques lui permettent d’accueillir des petits spectacles lyriques et musicaux. Le Studio Bastille, qui possède une entrée indépendante, dispose également d’un foyer attenant à la salle de spectacle pour l’organisation de cocktails.
Like loggias adjoining the stairways within the depth of the facade, the "boucliers" (catering for 60 guests maximum) are saloons partially open to the public areas whilst providing the intimacy required for cocktails during show intervals.