Degas adore the Paris Opera his entire life, as can be seen in his paintings (of the auditorium, the stage, the foyer, backstage, rehearsals…).
Degas came from a musical family – his father organised musical salons, and Degas made a series of portraits of its visitors.
Later, he dived deep into the world of the Opera in order to paint the scenes of ballet and other dance classes that are now famous. In fact, these works were an immediate success, starting in 1870.
Over the years, Degas proved his masterly way of portraying the special lighting in theatres, playing with unusual viewpoints and changing the format of his canvases around 1879 for a double square which he called ‘long paintings’.
Later, around 1899, he found new inspiration in the heavy use of colour, ‘orgies of colour’ as he called it. In his scenes, the Opera became almost an imaginary world.
Linked with the exhibitions there’s:
— three conferences, including one called Un singulier revenant : l’opéra dans la culture contemporaine on 5th December, with Olivier Pi,
— A curieuse nocturne – Mascarade ! Bal masqué à l’Opéra – starting at 6.30pm on 16th January 2020 (aimed at the under-26 crowd, as they get in free), which will transform the museum into a masked ball in the grand tradition on the ones held at the Opera house,
— as well as the usual guided visits and workshops for kid and families.
A catalogue of the exhibition is also available (320 pages, 250 illustrations, 49€ here at amazon.fr).