Palais Garnier et Paroisse Catholique de la Madeleine

This Sunday David and I went to a chamber music concert at the Palais Garnier, with musicians from the opera house’s orchestra. It was a delight! I’ve wanted to visit the Palais Garnier for a very long time, and even more so after I read Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera when I was 12.

Unfortunately the weather was a bit gloomy – it rained all day, and it was fairly dark. Nonetheless, we still had a fabulous time!

We went for a walk before we picked up our tickets at the office. We walked by a very odd (but cute!) statue. I wanted to get a picture of David next to it, mostly because I thought it would be hilarious. I laughed so hard, people stopped and stared…

IMG_6844David looking ashamed when I told him to stop whining and get in the picture, haha.IMG_6845David arguing with me when I told him to hold its hand…

IMG_6846David was laughing pretty hard here (he felt pretty foolish), but as you can see, he obliged. I think these pictures are absolutely hilarious. I’ll cherish them always (LOL!).

Then David and I walked by a huge building – I thought it looked like something you might find in Greece. It had huge pillars. We weren’t exactly sure what it was … until we walked around the front and saw that it was a Catholic church – Paroisse Catholique de la Madeleine.

And a service had just started! We decided it would be nice to go to an evening church service on Sunday evening, even if it was mostly in French (the minister actually spoke in French and English!).

I didn’t take any pictures until after the service, and also not very many. Here’s a couple:

IMG_6855This was a pretty elaborate shrine (or altar?).

IMG_6853The organ – you can see the organist if you look closely.

There was some incredible organ playing after the service. But unfortunately I only thought to get a video of it near the end.

I guess you can get an idea of the sound, but you’re only really hearing the last note or two of the piece he played. I’m a little sad I couldn’t capture more, but I’m sure there will be other opportunities. This video doesn’t really capture its magnificence, but at least you get a taste.

The service was about an hour, and when it was over it was time to head over to the Palais Garnier for the concert!


I was really excited.

We had fantastic seats, though I think it would’ve been pretty great to have our own box.

We were really early… don’t be fooled by these pictures, it was a full house!


Love that ceiling and chandelier!


One of the many dramatic faces surrounding the theatre. There were sad faces, and faces of shock, anger, distress, joy, and mirth (and maybe a few other ones). Of course, those are my interpretations of the facial expressions, they could’ve represented something different.

Here’s another video, this time of the theatre:

When the performance was over, I stood to applaud. I was one of the few that actually stood, but everyone was applauding for so long, even after they left the stage, that the came back to play a couple more short pieces!

I just love theatre performances – you really connect with the people on stage, whether it be a play, ballet, or a concert. Some of the music they played gave me chills and evoked pretty wondrous images. That’s what I love about classical music.

Afterwards we walked outside and it was raining very hard. All the same, this street performer was playing his guitar at the base of the steps. He was a pretty good singer, too.IMG_6890Outside the Palais Garnier. One day I’d like to go see an opera at the Palais Garnier.

But I’ll settle for seeing an opera when we get back to Toronto. At some point.



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