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Fodor's Paris 2014
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Opéra Garnier Review
Opéra Garnier—the magnificent, magical former haunt of the Phantom of the Opera, painter Edgar Degas, and any number of legendary opera stars—still hosts performances of the Opéra de Paris, along with a fuller calendar of dance performances (the theater is the official home of the Ballet de l'Opéra National de Paris). The grandest opera productions are usually mounted at the Opéra de la Bastille, whereas the Garnier now presents smaller-scale works such as Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito and Così Fan Tutte. Gorgeous and intimate though the Garnier is, its tiara-shape theater means that many seats have limited visibility, so it's best to ask specifically what the sight lines are when booking (partial view in French is visibilité partielle. The cheaper seats are often those with partial views. Seats generally go on sale at the box office a month before any given show, earlier by phone and online; you must appear in person to buy the cheapest tickets. Last-minute discount tickets, if available, are offered 15 minutes prior to a performance for senior citizens and anyone under 28. The box office is open 10–4:30 daily (until 5:30 mid-July through August), but you should get in line up to two hours in advance. Venue visits (€10) and guided tours in English (€12.50) are available and can be reserved online; see the website for details.
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