"To restore an edifice is not to maintain, repair or rebuild it, but to reestablish it in a complete state that may never have existed at a given moment" wrote Viollet-le-Duc in his Dictionary of French Architecture.
It's been a long time but at last the construction site is drawing to a close end and never has the word 'restoration' been so proper. Wherever you are in the theater except for the foyer – which was not involved in the process – the historic monument is regaining its strength. The din of hammers and drills has ceased for several days now, only can the gentle hiss of ventilation tests and of voices be heard. The last workers bump into the first collaborators of the Opéra Comique. The atmosphere is electric. The last wires have been concealed in the paneling. There's quite a rush and the technical teams are the first on the front. The first stage consists in emptying the basements at Rue du Sentier and reinstalling everything in the theater. Thus, spotlights, curtains, microphones, everything must be cleaned, installed and tested before setting the scenery for Alcione. Coming back to the renovated areas of the theater, discovering the new storage spaces. The traffic in the corridors is unbridled. Manon and Carmen welcome those in the lobby with an open face. Our heroines are looking forward to what will happen soon. Who knows? What has never existed since the 1898 inauguration might come true thanks to the magic of the artists and audiences. The new 2017 Favart heralds many a surprise!
On this historic day, while the Safety Committee authorizes the opening of the building to the public, a lot remains to be done: the human aspect without which a place so full of history can't resuscitate. Everything is to be born again for there's one thing that has never been part of the "complete state" in the above quote: the breath, the spirit of those who will act and sing on the stage and of the attendees too. What will happen now that Favart is going to be properly ventilated and that you'll be back to our house?
As from next April 26th, which will mark the reopening and first performance of the opera offered by Moaty, Savall and Boitel, both they and you will bring the final touch. Only when you cross the gates of the Opéra Comique will this restoration work make sense.
Reopening of the Salle Favart with Alcione from April 26 through May 7