On Tuesday 25 October, the day before the opening of the Rue du Sentier box office, all the teams of the Opéra Comique were on deck, anticipating the next day: reception of the public in our temporary premises, the novelty of the place lacking the familiarity of the Place Boieldieu box office where everything used to work fine, the phone calls to book seats or request information. Frenzy prevailed on the two stories of the building.
Not far from there, another kind of frenzy reigned in the auditorium of Rue Favart: more intense, noisier, busier also because of the construction site with its materials for structural work, elements of the décor returning to their original places within a system of stone and wood. On that day, the workers of the various companies operating on the construction site seemed to have agreed to meet there, which gave the impression of an anthill the photos shown here fail to convey for they only convey a fixed reality. The orchestra, for instance, is now covered with parquetry and armchairs have reappeared, proof that things are progressing.
In some areas, the refurbishing seems to be ending and while in others it’s as if it were just beginning. This contrast is everywhere. Here everything is beautiful, restored, painted afresh, gilded, brand new, whereas there all we can see is dust and dirt. You have to climb the wooden stairs overlooking the dressing rooms to get an idea of the cleaning that must be done before the employees, the artists and finally the attendees return to their habits at Salle Favart. The bustle on all floors, with the accompanying hammering and the sound of circular saws, is reassuring.
Work at Salle Favart – October 2016 ©Stefan Brion