The architectural foundation of the Opera that we see today was rebuilt on the ruins of the Grand Théâtre of 1787, which at the time was the second opera of France, after that of Bordeaux. The main facade shows the successful contrast between the 18th-century colonnade and peristyle, and the 1920s design style. The facade, on which is inscribed ‘Art receives the beauty of Aphrodite, the rhythm of Apollo, and the balance of Pallas, and owes to Dionysus the movement of life', is particularly impressive. Before climbing the stairs to enter the building, you pass through gates decorated with bronze medallions displaying allegorical dance and music motifs. The many symbols make you want to push open the door where you'll see painted and sculpted frieze panels evoking Greek dance and theatre. The staircase takes you to the lobby, adorned with symmetrical mirrors that reflect the lights of the peristyle from the large bay windows. The hall seats 1,800 and recalls the spirit of Italian theatres, with its main floor divided into three distinct parts, and its balconies and boxes. The stage hosts the greatest names in opera and symphonic art, with special emphasis on the works of Verdi, Puccini, Massenet, Beethoven, Wagner, Saint-Saëns, among many other great composers.
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