July 10, 2012
1 La Salle Garnier
2 La Salle Garnier
3 La Salle Garnier
In the 1800s, Monte Carlo wasn’t the glamorous, luxurious, fine dining and unparalleled shopping and entertainment, the ‘Las Vegas of Europe’ is world-renowned for today.
On the contrary, in the 1800s the town of Monte Carlo was a much quieter, passive and less well-known part of the Cote d’Azur. In fact, so ‘quiet’ was Monte Carlo, that in the 1870s, Prince Charles III, the Prince of Monaco and Duke of Valentinois, due to a lack of cultural diversions available in Monaco, decided to open an opera house.
What is known as the Salle Garnier was opened in 1879 and was originally Prince Charles III’s private theatre, reserved only for himself and his family.
The design and construction of the Salle Garnier was carried out by the legendary French architect Charles Garnier, best-known for designing the Palais Garnier, one of the most famous opera houses in the world and a powerful symbol of Paris. The Salle Garnier was an exact replica of the Palais Garnier in Paris, although an albeit scaled down version, having just 524 seats.
In 1879 the first opera was performed at Monte Carlo’s Salle Garnier, the French composer of songs and operettas, Robert Planquestte’s Le Chevalier Gaston.
Throughout the twentieth century many great opera performers played at the Salle Garnier, including Feodor Chaliapin, Nellie Melba and Enrico Caruso and Monte Carlo quickly gained a reputation as being a thriving hub of opera sensations. Whilst the Salle Garnier’s “Golden Age”, which occurred in the early twentieth century, may have passed, today the legendary opera house still boasts a thriving production calendar, presenting between five and six operas a season.
In the 2012 – 2013 season, running from November 2012 until April 2013, a whole host of highly anticipated opera performances will be heading to Monte Carlo, including ‘Duello Amaroso’, ‘La Fanciulla del West’, ‘Recital Jules Massenet’, ‘L’Homme de la Mancha’, ‘La Traviata’, ‘Concert Richard Wagner’, ‘La Sonnambula’, ‘Concert Cecilia Bartoli’, ‘Amica’, ‘Concert Bryn Terfel’, and ‘Stiffelio’.
For more information on Salle Garnier’s forthcoming calander visit the Monte Carlo Opera House’s official website at www.opera.mc.