Paris is a city known for many things including its food and fashion. But as befits a city of its stature, there are also many top cultural experiences for people visiting on holiday or on business. The theatre is one that can be enjoyed alone, with a loved one or even with a high class escort in Paris if you don’t want to be by yourself.
Palais Garnier – Opera National de Paris
Top of the list of places to visit for theatre in Paris is the Palais Garnier, the National Opera of Paris. Built between 1861-1875, the theatre was named for its architect, Charles Garnier. It was the home of the Paris Opera Ballet until 1989 and is known as one of the most famous opera houses in the world. One reason for this is its use for the original The Phantom of the Opera and later musical adaptations.
At the opposite end of the scale in terms of style is the Opera Bastille, opened in 1989. It was designed by Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott and is the epitome of a modern opera house, seating some 2723 people at capacity. It is home to the Paris National Opera and features mainly opera shows with some ballet and symphony concerts.
Philharmonie de Paris
The Philharmonie de Paris is a combined space for all types of music incorporating concert halls, rehearsal rooms, educational spaces and exhibition spaces as well as restaurant and bars. It is to the northeast edge of the city in the Parc de la Villette and has a symphonic concert hall holding 2400 people. It is the most modern of theatres in the city, opening in 2015 and is the location for other kinds of music including jazz and world music.
The Grand Rex is a cinema theatre – showing cinematic shows in far more luxurious style than most other types of cinema. It boasts the largest main auditorium of any cinema theatre in Europe with starred ceiling and fairy-tale decorations that even include water features. There is a capacity of 2800 and the screen measures 82 feet by 37 feet – the largest in Paris. It mostly now offers films from around the world but all are dubbed into French.
Theatre de Chatelet
The Theatre de Chatelet is an opera house and theatre on Place du Chatelet in the centre of Paris that was built on the site of a small castle – hence its name. It is a virtual twin to the Theatre de la Ville that sits opposite it across the Place du Chatelet and was built in 1862, originally for drama performances. The stage version of Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days was one of the first productions shown here. Today it is the home of the Orchestre de Paris and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.