The Opera Paris, France and The Opera Lviv, Ukraine – 4 Intriguing Similarities

The Opera Paris and the Opera Lviv compared:

The Opera Paris is famous as the setting for The Phantom of the Opera, a novel by Gaston Leroux (1868 – 1927) and adapted into a musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber. It is known as the Palais Garnier, more commonly referred to as Opera Garnier or Paris Opera.

The Opera Lviv is famous for being the site for the politically motivated “liquidation” of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in 1946 and a showcase for over 25 painters, sculptors and architects. It is known as the S.Krushelnytska Opera House, more commonly referred to as the Lviv Opera.

There are many similarities between the Opera Paris and the Opera Lviv. We have chosen to focus on the most amazing 4 likenesses.

As you read, listen to opera music online.

the Grand Triumphal March Gloria all'Egitto from the opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi. Conducted by Myron Yusypovych. Performed by the K&K Philharmoniker and K&K Opernchor at the Herkulessaal of the Münchener Residenz in April, 2004.

 

4. The Front Façade of the Opera Paris and Opera Lviv

The Front Façade – Opera Paris and Opera Lviv
The Front Façade – Opera Paris and Opera Lviv

Compare photographs of the front façade view of the Opera Paris and the Opera Lviv. You will see distinct similarities in the architectural details of the roofs of the façades of both buildings.

The roof of the Opera Paris has a central Apollo figure holding a golden lyre.

The roof of the Opera Lviv has a central Winged Glory figure holding a golden palm branch.

The left and right sides of the Opera Paris are flanked by winged figures – on the left is “Harmony” and on the right is “Poetry”.

The left and right sides of the Opera Lviv are flanked by winged figures – on the left is “Tragedy” and on the right is “Music”.

 

3. The Grand Foyer at the Opera Paris and the Opera Lviv

The Grand Foyer – Opera Paris and Opera Lviv
The Grand Foyer – Opera Paris and Opera Lviv

Compare the images of the The Grand Foyer at the Opera Paris and the Opera Lviv. At the Opera Lviv, the Grand Foyer is often called The Hall of Mirrors because of the mirrors, which are situated along both sides of the foyer, intermittently with windows. Both Grand Foyers are part of any tour to either opera house. Both were intended as places where the audience could mingle during the intermission.

The ceiling of the Grand Foyer at the Opera Paris is the work of Paul Baudry (1828 – 1886). Baudry was personally asked by Charles Garnier, the architect of the Opera Paris, to plan and execute this comission.

The ceiling of the Hall of Mirrors at the Opera Lviv is the work of Stanisław Dębicki (1866 – 1924). Dębicki was personally asked by Zygmunt Gorgolewski, the architect of the Opera Lviv, to conceptualize and oversee the artistic completion of the Hall of Mirrors.

In keeping with the traditions of the Renaissance, both artists used the female figure to depict the Muses associated with the theatre, music and dance.

The Grand Foyer at the Opera Paris depicts Melody and Harmony in the center. To one side is Glory carrying a trumpet and a crown of laurels. To the other side is Poetry riding Pegasus and holding a golden lyre.

The Hall of Mirrors ceiling at the Opera Lviv depicts Poetry listening to the sound of a bell in the center. To one side is Music with a large lyre. To the other side is Dance with a tambourine.

Continue reading for a detailed explanation of the theater ceiling in the main auditorium at the Opera House Theatre in Lviv, Ukraine (Click here).

 

2. The Central Chandelier at the Opera Paris and Opera Lviv

The Chandelier – Opera Paris and Opera Lviv
The Chandelier – Opera Paris and Opera Lviv

Compare the photographs of the chandelier at the Opera Paris and the Opera Lviv. You will see some distinct similarities.

The chandelier at the Opera Paris was designed by the chief architect of the opera house – Charles Garnier.

The chandelier at the Opera Lviv was also designed by the building’s chief architect – Zygmunt Gorgolewski.

There is quite a bit of controversy over the famous chandelier at the Opera Paris. On the other hand, the Opera Lviv chandelier cannot boast any dramatic story.

On the mundane side, it is worth noting that both chandeliers, the famous one at the Opera Paris and the not so famous one at the Opera Lviv, are lowered for cleaning.

 

1. Grand Entrance Staircase at the Opera Paris and Opera Lviv

The Staircase – Opera Paris and Opera Lviv
The Staircase – Opera Paris and Opera Lviv

Compare the images of the Grand Staircase at the Opera Paris and the Opera Lviv. Although the photographs are taken from different angles, the similarities are striking.

At the Opera Paris, the stairs link the main floor and the foyers on the upper floors. The stairs and balustrade are constructed of multi-coloured marble.

At the Opera Lviv, the stairs also link the entrance floor and the auditorium with the upper floor. Similarly, the stairs and balustrade are constructed of multi-coloured marble.

Partway up the Grand Entrance Staircase of the Opera Paris are two marble pedestals – one on each side of the stairs. On these pedestals are two tall bronze candelabras with multiple bulbs that light up the foyer.

Similarly, partway up the Grand Entrance Staircase at the Opera Lviv, there are two marble pedestals. Two tall bronze candelabras with multiple bulbs stand on these pedestals and light up the foyer.

At the Opera Paris, above the Grand Entrance Staircase is a skylight. The skylight is surrounded by allegorical figures depicting music, beauty, opera and examples of military might. These are the work of Isidore-Alexandre Pils (1813 – 1875). The paintings were painted on canvas in the artist’s studio and then pasted onto the ceiling.

Above the Grand Entrance Staircase at the Opera Lviv, there is also a skylight. The skylight is surrounded by allegorical figures depicting the many aspects of art, as well as, symbols of technical prowess and military might. These are the work of Tadeusz Popiel (1863 – 1913). The paintings were painted on canvas in the artist’s studio and pasted onto the ceiling.

 

Similarities Between the Opera Paris and the Opera Lviv Continued

Similarities – Opera Paris and Opera Lviv
Similarities – Opera Paris and Opera Lviv

Above are four similarities between two famous opera houses – the Opera Paris and the Opera Lviv. But, there is more. You can see a quick visual preview on the right of some of the additional similarities. We are working on preparing information about:

  • the design competition

  • the underground water basins

  • the red and gold interior

  • the architect (2 different architects, but 2 similar stories)

  • the style of architecture.

And, of course, there is one very significant difference between the Opera Paris and the Opera Lviv.

Please be patient! And, do come back!


Contacts