By Lori Spencer

Grand opera dominated the theater in 19th century Paris, and it is a term frequently used to reference productions of the Paris Opera House. These serious, often tragic history plays were lavishly produced, complete with a ballet, live orchestra and a large cast of world-renowned singers. Stage designs, costumes and sets were always quite spectacular, making these productions comparable to today’s Hollywood blockbuster movies. Although primarily associated with French composers, this musical genre also includes seminal works by Italian and German artists who were drawn to the creative culture in Paris at the time.

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