After the concert, they offer a tour of the building. It was somewhere between 5 and 10 euros for a really comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at everything that goes into putting on their productions. Our two group was three people large. Just me and two Australians. It was great! We saw them setting up the stage for the premiere of Il Trovatore, saw the opera’s current set for Der Rosenkavalier (which was ending soon) (and since they share the stage with the ballet, the various sets get shifted around constantly and therefore have to be pretty mobile), peeped on a ballet rehearsal, and got to visit their costume departments.
They had this green beauty featured among some other costumes. It was so gorgeous! It’s from Balanchine’s Jewels ballet, the “Emeralds” movement. You can see it in action here:
During my vacation in the Netherlands, we took a day trip to the Hague to go see (among other things) Escher in Het Palais. I loved seeing the art and the actual woodcut blocks he used and learning more about the artist. Usually I go for the older stuff (gosh I love Renaissance artwork of Catholic saints), but Escher’s use of impossibility, you can’t not love it. One of the things that I found really cool (and I guess was a fairly new fact, given that the article I’m about to link only came out last year) was that the staircases he drew in Relativity were inspired by the staircases in a school he attended in Arnhem as a teen. He hated the school, but was obsessed by its very, very weird staircase.
Even if it didn’t hold a bunch of great art, Het Palais is a gorgeous building. Every room had a different bizarre chandelier. They were amazing! These were my favorites: