In the Second Era the opera house was known as Palais Garnier, often referred to as the Opéra Garnier.[note 1] It was designed by the architect Charles Garnier and built between 1861 and 1875 S.E. as part of the great reconstruction of Paris during the Second Empire of France initiated by Emperor Napoleon III.
For many centuries, it was the home of the Paris Opera, the primary opera company of France. With a surface of over 11,000 square metres, it was the largest opera house in the world and an architectural marvel. It was most famously known for its use as the setting for The Phantom of the Opera.
During World War IV the opera house was converted into a storage space for artillery and, eventually, prisoners of war. After the war, the building was left abandoned for many years until the Lunar army settled in and used it as their military headquarters in the European Federation.
Recent events Edit
On August 11, 126 T.E. Michelle is kidnapped in her home Benoit Farms and Gardens by the pack of special operatives under Jael. She was transported to the opera house and being held captive in it for three weeks.
On August 30, 126 T.E. Wolf guided Scarlet to the opera house in their search for Michelle. At first, the building seemed empty as there was no sign of life inside and there was no response to Scarlet's yelling on the foot of the staircase. After Scarlet received a comm informing her of her father Luc's death, Jael appeared from behind two pillars. He discussed Wolf's mission with Wolf and then ordered two soldiers, Rafe and Troya, to imprison Scarlet in one of the cells in the opera house.
That night, Rafe or Troya escorted Scarlet to one of the private balconies where Ran was sitting in the front row waiting for her. Ran used Lunar glamour to manipulate Scarlet into perceiving him as Michelle. Through his disguise as Michelle he tried to gain information from her about Michelle's ability to resist the Lunar glamour. Afterwards Jael entered the balcony and when Scarlet attempted to attack him, he manipulated her into sobbing uncontrollably on the floor.
The opera house is located at the city square Place de l'Opéra on the Boulevard des Capucines in the 9th arrondissement (IXe arrondissement) of Paris, France. Across the square the main façade of the opera house is facing a boarded-up entrance to the subway station Opéra, which was closed at the time of Wolf and Scarlet's visit to the opera house.
The building is decorated with very elaborate marble friezes, columns, and lavish statuary, many of which portray deities of Greek mythology. Because of the effects of the war and its long vacancy, the building was tarnished in many aspects.
The main façade, located on the south side of the building, is graced with statues and surmounted by groups of sculptures. It consists of a raised ground floor surmounted by a loggia with stone columns connected by balconies and accompanied by marble columns. One of these balconies is missing half of its balusters. The ground floor is further pierced by seven arched doorways giving access to the inside of the building. These doorways are guarded by statues of angels and cherubim. To enter the building the visitor must walk past the statues and through one of the doorways. The doors beneath the portico are all covered with a mess of graffiti.
The interior has a decorative scheme gradually shading from light to dark through a series of increasingly narrow lobbies leading to the grand staircase. The lobbies are full of dust and the floor is littered with chunks of broken marble. They are pitch-black and the only light is coming from flickering candlelight beyond the arches from one of the two female torchères that flank the grand staircase. The torchères depict two women draped in billowing fabric atop a pedestral, each holding aloft a bouquet of torches. The torchère without light is missing her head and the arm that had once held her own candelabra.
The staircase is carved from red-and-white marble and is missing random balustrades. It divides into two divergent flights of stairs that lead to the grand foyer. Three stories of balconies rise above and in their center, where the light barely reaches, is a painted ceiling with a square window in its center that had long been missing.
The auditorium has a traditional Italian horseshoe shape and could originally seat 1,979 visitors. At the back of the theater are huge doors leading to a balcony overlooking the lobby and the grand staircase. Away from the stairs, past more statues of cherubs and angels is another staircase leading to the first and second balcony. Closed doors led back into the theater, to the higher tiers of seats. Another hallway led to private balconies that overlooked the stage, holding only four red velvet chairs in two rows.
The backstage can be reached through a thin stairwell leading to a doorway. The rafters in the backstage are filled with dusty old props and black curtains hang like phantoms in the darkness. The only light comes from runners along the aisles in the audience. An entire section of seats in the audience had been removed, leaving holes where they’d once been bolted to the sloped floor.
Scarlet's cell Edit
The cell that Scarlet had been kept captive was originally a dressing room. Vague outlines of mirrors and vanities are burned into the walls and the strips of light bulbs that had surrounded them has been reduced to empty sockets. The carpet has been pulled up, revealing cold stone beneath, and the solid oak door has been taken off its hinges and left abandoned in the corner, replaced instead with welded iron bars and an ID-sensitive lock.
The Rotonde de l'Empereur is located on the left west side of the building and houses the Paris Opera Library-Museum. The library was originally suited for royalty, a room for important, high-society Earthens to muse over the philosophical works of their ancestors. Display cases had once held priceless art. Two stories of bookshelves full of dust that once held books, which are all gone now, rescued when the opera house had been taken over by the military. The library is now used as Jael's private office. At the end of the wood-paneled gallery is a wide desk that is made of plastic and metal, which stood stark and dull against the extravagant décor.
- When Marissa Meyer decided to set the climax of Scarlet in Paris, she researched some well-known landmarks that had historical importance and beautiful architectural details that she could use to add realism and atmosphere to the story. She ended up choosing between the opera house, the catacombs and Conciergerie, and posted the three choices on her blog. Her readers voted for the opera house.
- Because Meyer had never been to France, she used Google streetview to walk up and down the streets surrounding the opera house and took the virtual tour on the official website of the opera house to explore its interior. Using these tools she wrote down ten pages of description of which only a few paragraphs made it into the final book.
- ↑ The name of the building has never been explicitly stated in the story and is inferred from the description of the building and Marissa Meyer's mention in interviews and her online posts.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Wikipedia, Palais Garnier
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Scarlet, Chapter 26
- ↑ Scarlet, Chapter 13
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Scarlet, Chapter 27
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Scarlet, Chapter 29
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Palais Garnier Official Website, The façades
- ↑ Palais Garnier Official Website, The interior
- ↑ Scarlet, Chapter 30
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Makeshift Bookmark, Scarlet Blog Tour + Amazing Giveaway
- ↑ Voya Magazine, Wouldn’t You Like to Know... Marissa Meyer