Clue #1: À Paris! à Paris, tous les deux! Nous vivrons à Paris! We mentioned this place in an early blog post. There! Have at it!
Clue #2: Those are song lyrics quoted above. If you can figure out where they came from, you'll realize that there's only a limited number of venues in Paris where we might have heard it. Now, have at it!
Winners: Daniel and Stephanie
Answer: backstage at Opéra Bastille, Opéra National de Paris
We have two winners this week, because Daniel first correctly identified the Opéra National, then Stephanie specified Opéra Bastille as the correct opera house. And, it occurs to us that perhaps we should have awarded two winners for the last contest, since our first answer (Libya) identified the building, while the second (Bridget) identified the museum to which the building belongs. Can it be wrong to try to multiply the winners and multiply the joy???
A couple weekends ago, La Potiche got word that Opéra Bastille was putting on a program called "Opera For All," welcoming visitors to a free backstage tour! There's only one thing La Potiche likes better than opera, and that's getting something for nothing, so we scuttled on over to the opera first thing Saturday morning for a 75-minute tour. We had a delightful time looking at the sets and the big machines and going down into the bowels of the Opéra, and that's what we photographed. The text is a little background on the Opéra and information we got on the tour.
|set pieces for Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges|
All this background is to prepare you for the narrative developed for us on the tour, which was that neither revolution, nor empire, nor bombings, nor fire, nor phantoms, was half so dramatic as what happened over the next thirty years with Opéra Bastille. Six years of construction, changes of government and changes of heart when nobody, not even Mitterand himself, wanted to keep going with the project; strikes and snafus with conductors and the failure to figure out, in advance, how the orchestra of the Opéra Garnier was supposed to be able, under the rubric of the Opéra national, to play simultaneously in two theaters. There were accidents, spectacular failures of the state-of-the-art stage equipment, and every kind of aesthetic compromise.
|set for The Barber of Seville|
Architecture, opéra, sculpture.... At Opéra Bastille, all these arts are in a state of flux, being born, shifting, breaking down, and being taken down to the shop and fixed up again. What better kind of People's Opéra, than an opera that's always a work in progress!
Contest #1: Winner: Anne, and her correct answer!
Contest #2: We are the winners, because we get to walk along it all the time.
Contest #3: Winners: Libya and Bridget, and the correct answer!
Contest #4: Winners: Daniel and Stephanie