The Palais Garnier is the opulent and beaux-arts national Opera theater of Paris. With sculpture decorating the façade and a ceiling painted by Marc Chagall, the theater is both an acoustic and visual wonder. Guiding visitors around the theater for the first time is an interactive and immersive multimedia experience specifically for use on an iPad; part one is an hour long on-site guided experience and part two is for the post-visit, with additional information allowing visitors to examine detailed historical content at their leisure.
The visually-rich tour features an interactive timeline with ‘content hotspots’ which, when tapped, allow users to delve into the complex story of the Palais Garnier. Visitors learn about the history and cultural context of this iconic monument and theatre, the vocabulary of opera, and the painter Marc Chagall, whose tableau of fourteen scenes from famous operas has covered the ceiling of the Auditorium since 1964. Furthermore, an expandable menu leads users to the ‘behind the scenes’ section, where visitors can explore places previously inaccessible to the public, and to additional rare photos of the beautiful opera house selected by the Opéra National de Paris.
Alongside the fascinating narrative history, the app’s visual media juxtaposes the past and present life of the theater; stunning images of the inside of the building, video excerpts of the 1925 silent movie “Le Fantôme de l‘Opéra”, and historic press announcements create both a richer and deeper visitor experience which was previously inaccessible to the public.