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Fodor's Paris 2014
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Opéra Royal de Versailles
Opéra Royal de Versailles Review
The Royal Opera of Versailles, the most lavish opera house in France (and perhaps in all of Europe) hosts an impressive yearly calendar of major operas, ballets, recitals, and musical theater by world-class French and international performers. The intimate 652-seat structure has excellent acoustics and provides an ideal setting for works by big name composers, with an emphasis on the Baroque and classical periods. Finished in 1770—just in time for the marriage ceremonies of the young dauphin (later King Louis XVI) and 14-year-old Marie Antoinette—the structure's stunning neoclassical decor is crafted entirely of gilded and faux-marbled wood. A regular program of smaller concerts is also held in the splendid Hall of Mirrors (Galerie des Glaces) and at the Royal Chapel, where recitals might feature a 300-year-old royal organ. Although it's recommended to buy tickets online one to two months in advance (up to six months ahead for star performers), they can be purchased at the box office on the day of the performance. There are no bad seats at the Royal Opéra, so instead of spending upward of €100 on a ticket, you can get away with something a bit less pricey. For the Hall of Mirrors, you may not see much in the cheap seats, but the sound will still be glorious.
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