29 Jul
Paris Opera House: Palais Garnier

Paris Opera House:
Palais Garnier

Always excited at the prospect of watching world-class ballet performed in a historic, opulent opera house, I quickly became perplexed and frustrated when the translated Paris’ Palais Garnier website offered seating in the “bathtub.” My French is limited to the most important things-ordering food and wine. The Parisian Opera House did not allow any outside assistance, such a ticketing agency or concierge assistance, so I was left to my own designs  to figure out the seating on my own, (which was further hampered by my wanting technological skills.)

I finally found a feature that, when clicked on, showed the view of the stage from those chosen seats, or at least that is what I hoped. Left with no other choice, I clicked the “purchase” button and nervously hoped for the best.

Le Grand Foyer

Le Grand Foyer

When we eventually arrived at the grand venue of the Opera House a few months later, we sipped the obligatory champagne, admired the elegant beaux-arts design, and then proceeded up the stairs to see what awaited us. We entered a private door into a vestibule where we left our wraps, and then proceeded to the red velvet splendor of our private seating area.

As I eventually learned, the bagnoire translates into English, not only to bathtub, but also to the lowest seats in a small box seating area at an opera house.  Relieved, we had a good laugh, another glass of champagne, and settled into our “bathtub”  to enjoy the ethereal, mesmerizing ballet.


  1. Preston Wallace August 26, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    I love it! I’m glad your time was wonderful. I love Paris, myself!

  2. Sara April 28, 2021 at 7:12 am #

    This is hilarious! So glad that it was just mistranslated and that you didn’t actually end up in a bathtub! Imagine trying to get out of the bathtub after the champagne! 🙂

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