Royal Opera of Versailles!!

So here I am back in France, and need to tell you about the  wonderful country of mine and my beloved Versailles a city I lived and won’t stop mentioning it lol!  However, with all the numerours posts I have in my blog on this immense royal city and de facto capital of France I have missed some important elements. Indeed , the beautiful Royal Opera of the Domaine de Versailles! I like to tell you now a bit on it ok

The Opéra Royal or Royal Opera of the Palace/museum of Versailles is an opera house built under king Louis XV located at the end of the north wing of the Palace. This is by rue des reservoirs on the outside and avenue du N or Bassin de la pyramide on the inside. And of course in Versailles, capital of dept 78 Yvelines in the region of Ïle de France!

Versailles

Under king Louis XIV, the little theater of the court des Princes was inconvenient and no longer suited to new fashions. To distract the king, Madame de Pompadour mounted a small troupe of comedians chosen from among her friends; the Marquise herself held her place. The little troop had two successive theaters at its disposal, temporary and dismountable theaters installed first in the Petite Galerie (little gallery) and then in the l’escalier des Ambassadeurs (stairwell of the Ambassadors). These small halls had very few spectators and were not considered court theaters.

In building the northern wing, king Louis XIV had thought of building an opera, the bad finances of the end of his reign prevented him from doing so. King Louis XV took over the project on the occasion of the marriage of his grandson (future king Louis XVI) with the Archduchess Marie Antoinette. The construction was begun in 1768 under the order of the king by the anticipation of the marriages of his grandchildren, the construction lasted two years and the Royal Opera was inaugurated on May 16, 1770 at the marriage of Louis XVI of France and Marie-Antoinette of Austria.

Versailles

The Royal Opera, which Louis-Philippe was painted in red and which, in 1871, had been transformed into a meeting room for the National Assembly and then occupied by the Senate after 1875, was scrupulously restored from 1952 to 1956 and returned to was once again one of the most beautiful theaters in the world, uniting the graces of the Rococo style with the triumphant neoclassicism. It was meant to give an idea of the progress made in the arts under the reign of king Louis XV

This work of Ange-Jacques Gabriel first architect of the king, had made this Royal Opera one of the classic architectural style, with some Baroque reminiscences. Two stone galleries lead to the opera: it was through the gallery on the first floor that the king went there, either by directly gaining his own private box, or by going down the staircase, now destroyed, which led to the Guards Hall, and from there to the foyer and the amphitheater. The floor plan, new for the time, has the shape of a truncated oval, and the traditional boxes are replaced by simple balconies, set back on top of each other, with separations at the support. The proportions are perfect, and one can only admire the elegant colonnade of the third boxes; as for the mirrors that lurk the bottom in which the half-chandeliers are reflected, thus giving the illusion of full luster, they accentuate the lightness of this architecture they seem to launch you to infinity.

The decoration is particularly refined as was usually the case in the court theaters, the Royal Opera could be transformed in twenty-four hours into a large room for the ballroom. A system of winches raised the floor of the parterre to bring it to the level of the amphitheater and the stage, on which was built a second room surrounded by walkable colonnades and adorned with a ceiling. The scene stage of the Royal Opera has exceptional dimensions of 12.70 meters of opening, 29 meters of depth, 31 meters of width and 18 meters of height; make one of the largest of France, thus allowed the representation of operas with great show, requiring a large number of figurations and changes of scenery.

Versailles

Behind the pit is the amphitheater, in the front row of which are the armchairs of the royal family and the stools of the princes and princesses of blood and duchesses. On the floor of the second lodges, there are three small private lodges that allowed the King to attend the show in a semi-incognito: closed gilt bronze grilles and decorated with exquisite arabesques, they communicate through a small oval living room with the gallery leading to the Grand Apartments. The hall once held more than a thousand seats, and today it has a little over seven hundred; the orchestra pit can accommodate eighty musicians. The foyer, which gives access to the amphitheater, is decorated with statues Apollo, Venus, Abundance and Peace, Youth and Health, Poems lyric, pastoral, epic and dramatic scenes

versailles

The stage cage and the technical installations of the Royal Opera have been restored back on September 2009 after two years of work. Concerts and shows have since been regularly scheduled by Château de Versailles Spectacles, the private subsidiary of the Palace/Museum of Versailles, which operates the Royal Opera as well as the Royal Chapel and the Big water musicals   day and night times. Hope you can see this beauty and historical jewel of France.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Chateau de Versailles on the Royal Opera

Official Chateau de Versailles Spectacles on the Royal Opera

And there you go, I did justice to this jewel of the most beautiful palace in the world, a must to see while in France. I just had luck to lived nearby and use it even as my jogging and walking trails on weekends, every by the region I stop by memories forever. Hope you enjoy the Royal Opera and everything in it and around it, all worth your time and money. Pictures are from May 2019.

And remember, happy travels good health, and many cheers to all!!!

ps. disclaimer, the first photo is mine showing the location of the Opera Royal, the others are from and by the Royal Opera not mine as photos are not allowed. Cheers

 

 

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