Palais Garnier, Paris, was designed in the late 1800s by the young, unknown, competition-winning architect, Charles Garnier. Because of the Palais Garnier’s wicked – and entirely appropriate – design drama I’d take this opera house (1875) any day over the tech-hygienic Bastille Opera House (1989), designed by another unknown, Canadian Carlos Ott. At Palais Garnier, the painted-canvas house curtain is a lush interpretation of a draped curtain, complete with gold braid and pompoms. The horseshoe-shaped auditorium has 1,900 red velvet seats on the orchestra floor, balcony and arranged in the private ‘loge’.
My favourite ticket: 1ere loge, Palais Garnier. Red velvet chairs that the Marquis de Sade would have thoroughly enjoyed.
1ere loge, anti-chamber. Framed behind red drapery, this private, intimate room comes with a mirror, a fold away table and a red velvet couch. If I could, I’d make my pied-a-terre apartment here as writer-in-residence.
Wall upholstery – dedication to the textures of red that the Metropolitan Opera in NYC only begins to explore.