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“Terribly disappointing experience”

Palais Garnier - Opera National de Paris
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Owner description: This performance hall hosts opera, ballet and chamber music performances.
Metz, France
Level 6 Contributor
552 reviews
218 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 334 helpful votes
“Terribly disappointing experience”
Reviewed December 23, 2012

I had to read through several reviews to confirm that I am not being unreasonable in my opinion. Some people have complained that they saw nothing from their seats, but I had balcony seats, the best in the house, and I still have plenty of issues with what happened.

We bought tickets to the Caplet/Farrenc performance months in advance, for guests who have travelled halfway across the world for an experience. We all looked forward to it, and it was to be the highlight of the Paris experience. The show itself was a grand disappointment; the MC was inarticulate and I was only glad she limited herself to French, and did not repeat the dreadful spiel in English, and saved everyone from embarrassment and boredom. The performance was surprisingly short, and we thought the end was only an intermission.

That misconception was quickly rectified when the ushers started hollering to please vacate the place as they were closing up. With all due respect, a concert hall with an international reputation showing people out at quarter past nine on a Sunday evening, after a disappointing and disappointingly short performance, is quite incredible. The audience moved out for the chance to take some pictures and we were moved along from there too. They were really in a hurry to dump us out in the cold, dark, wintery night, I had entered the ladies for all of thirty seconds when someone came in to shout after me that they were closing up and I had to come out.

At the same time, they had no compunction keeping the boutique open for anyone interested in spending more money if they so desire. We were not hurried out of the shop at all, and took our time to choose our purchase. Whereupon paying and stepping out of the shop and back to the darkened Opera foyer, we were greeted with stoney-faced security showing us the exit.

The contrast between the rich splendor of the decoration and the absolute lack of class in how they treat the patrons leaves a distinctly bad taste in my mouth. The whole thing just stinks of pretension to me now. It is such a shame, I can never look at the Opera in the same light of reverence again, and never will I bring overseas friends to visit.

Visited December 2012
7 Thank FordPrefectII
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“One of best buildings in Paris”
Reviewed December 21, 2012

Even if you don't like opera or ballet, I think that going to a performance at the Opera Garnier (as opposed to the sterile Bastille Opera) is well worth it. Their website is not the simplest to use but very reliable. But just to be inside this gorgeous building is worth it, even if you just stay until half-time. Book early to get better seats, very reasonable prices.

Visited December 2012
Thank Cincytravelqueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bleadon, UK
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“A Baroque wedding cake”
Reviewed December 21, 2012

We went as day visitors to see the building. No opera involved. The Opera Garnier is stunning. A baroque wedding cake of a building that transports you into a fantasy world of excess. Loads of gilding, bronze, lavish lighting and marble. Beautifully painted ceilings. I imagine that the venue sometimes outshines the performance. Unfortunately the scent that permeates this splendid building is remeniscent of an old man’s trousers !
Beware of gypsy ladies outside, miraculously snatching a gold ring from a pavement puddle in front of you.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank KeithPyke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“La Cenerentola”
Reviewed December 20, 2012

Beautifully presented Rossini's opera was perfect in this most beautiful of all opera houses with Chagall's paintings on the plafond

Visited December 2012
1 Thank Simihir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bucharest, Romania
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Splendid architecture”
Reviewed December 19, 2012

Unfortunately I didn't have the occasion to attend a performance while visiting Paris. It would certainly have been a special sensation because of the entire architectural arrangement that inspire and offer a particular feeling of refinement.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank Gabi P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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