SEE A BALLET AT PALAIS GARNIER & OPÈRA BASTILLE ✗
While I've seen a total of three performances at Opéra Garnier, I was a bit hesitant to link the two opera houses together in the to-do list as I wasn't sure when I would be getting around to seeing a performance at the Bastille opera house. Luckily though my school had an extra ticket lying around for a last minute next-day performance of "Le Songe d'Une Nuit d'Été" by one of my favorite choreographers: George Balanchine. So, this afternoon I picked it up, did some light shopping (by which I mean I finally purchased a shatter proof protector screen for my already cracked screen, curse you Uber driver for dropping it while plugging it in to charge), and waited in a nearby Starbucks until 8pm rolled around.
A bit of symmetry for ya: the first Ballet I saw in Paris when I came back this year was a contemporary piece also choreographed by George Balanchine at Palais Garnier.
Palais Garnier let's be honest you're going here for the atmosphere, historical significance, and to see that chandelier that was in the Phantom of the Opera. These are not bad reasons to go and it is on the list of things one ought to do if they are to live in Paris.
Tips for any first timers:
For the love of holybelly coffee and bacon pancakes please do this. Trust me you do not want to find yourself dashing up those marble steps in a frenzy. I am notorious (can you use the word notorious if you've only done a thing thrice?) for arriving late to the opera house. Except for the last performance I saw there the marvelous Tree of Codes (I had to stand for the entire hour and a half of the performance, but it was so worth it because that piece is magic) when I tricked myself into thinking the performance was at 2:00pm instead of 2:30pm, because sure enough there I was rushing into the opera house at 2:10pm huffing and cursing myself only to find out that no the showing started at 2:30pm. I had, for once, the time to mull around and see the the gloriousness of the interior without the stress of those bonging bells propelling me up the marble steps, that I will seemingly never cease to trip on.
This is honestly just a thing. Unless you're splurging on those fancy Orchestra seats of course. But lets be real, the grad student life that has one rolling in the euros. I say discomfort because the seats are just painful but you'll accept this because it will be magic. One time ( *cough* Tree of Codes *cough*) I branched out from those Amphitheater Cat 4 seats and tried Cat 3 Loges and wound up both standing and wishing I was in one of those tiny red velvet seats with that wooden bar back that offers no support whatsoever. None.
Opèra Bastille, this place is so massive that I got lost twice trying to find my seat and then proceeded to sit in the incorrect seat.