• The Palais Garnier, Opera de Paris, architectural details

What Opera tours won’t say …


The 19th-century opera house is at the sumptuous heart of a new neighborhood of banks and luxury establishments. It is now a home of the city’s distingué high culture, but contrary to what the guides may lead one to think during opera tours this was not so at the beginning.

Questions about l’Opéra with surprising answers… Why is a superb colonnade of sensual nudes never cleaned? Why does it surround a huge, expensive open space in the heart of the most elegant part of town? Why does the audio guide dismiss as a “restaurant” a salon decorated by an orgy?

Our visit looks behind the Opéra’s jolting affirmation of culture to show the financial and erotic preoccupations of Paris’s “Gilded Age” priorities that today are concealed.


Enrich your experience ...