To whet our Parisian appetites

It’s an April morning on the Place de l’OpĂ©ra in Paris and Gilles Djeraouane, house manager of the Palais Garnier, perches on a roof ridge of the opera house’s majestic dome at a vertigo-inducing height above street level. A few paces further along the roof, lapped by sun-sparked clouds, stands the Garnier’s crowning decoration, a statue of Apollo with his golden lyre.

Planted limpet-like on the 19th-century metal stairway scaling the dome, I look down queasily at the flat-topped section of roof Mr. Djeraouane is now indicating. “Over there are five beehives,” he says. The bees are tended by a retired prop man, explains Mr. Djeraouane, and the floral honey is sold in the gift shop.


The photo shows the oh-so-grand (and, for me, rather desperately over-the-top) splendour of the grand foyer of Palais Garnier, the much-longer-established half of Opera National de Paris, and the text is the opening of an article in the Wall Street Journal which provides a fascinating insider’s view of some lesser-known aspects of the building. Worth a read, especially since it makes a nice advance introduction to next year’s trip.

Read the complete WSJ article here.

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