Heads up

It’s a day off here in Paris and I’m taking the much appreciated down time to catch up on some things. We had a tough week of rehearsals but a very rewarding time as well. The show is in absolutely great shape and we still have another week or so of rehearsals. The opening night is not until the 25th.

This is a picture I took directly below the chandelier in the center of the auditorium. I will soon post additional pictures but wanted you to be able to see the contrast between the fixture and the gorgeous mural by Marc Chagall. It is simply spectacular. The Garnier opened in 1875 but the mural was not painted until 1964. Of course, the work by Chagall was controversial due to the “modern” style being so different than what had been seen before. Also, the mural was applied directly over the old mural which destroyed the former work of art. I read today as well that the combined weight of the two canvasses has caused the adhesives to fail over time. I just hope it holds up through “Fidelio”.

Speaking of things falling, we all know about the Phantom and the falling chandelier. When you see the size of this thing, you can really get nervous thinking about what it would be like if it ever fell. I don’t anticipate that happening but maybe I shouldn’t take pictures from directly underneath anymore.

My entrance in the 2nd act is from way above the stage. I have to go quite a ways up into the fly space to cross over and then descend upon a central staircase in the middle of the set that is part of this production. It’s a nice effect but a bit scary. I’ve spent some time exploring up there as well and once again am awed by the legends of this old house. They don’t build ‘em like they used to.

I have always been one who has spent a lot of time exploring in opera houses--I’m a bit of a “theater rat”. One could easily get lost in The Garnier but I’m starting to know my way around. I love the old wood floors in the hallways and dressing rooms. The character of the place is like no other opera house I’ve ever worked in. Just to see the ballet studio which is behind the main stage is also an incredible experience. All that is really left for me do is to get down to the catacombs and the river that flows underneath the house. That may happen this week if I can find somebody brave enough to go with me.