ORGANS OF PARIS © 2021 Vincent Hildebrandt ALL ORGANS
Many are unaware that the Opera Garnier has an
instrument built by Cavaillé-Coll in 1874. The latter
is totally invisible to the general public since it is
located on the court side at the front stage with
pipes at 12 meters in height.
The inauguration took place on January 8, 1875 with
the representation of the "Jewish" of Fromental
Halévy. From that moment on, the organ was used
on a regular basis with performances of works
requiring its use.
However, the instrument suffered quickly from the
dust caused by the settings on the stage as well as
very large temperature differences. A first warning
call issued in 1893 by Cavaillé-Coll himself who
noticed that his instrument had never been dusted.
Subsequently, the condition of the organ
deteriorated further, some stops suffered from a
loss of quality of their timbre. Cavaillé considered
the organ "in a state of disrepair" in 1894. In 1925,
following a leak in the water supply of the fire
department, the organ was flooded and
decommissioned. Following this incident, Cavaillé-
Coll / Convers was called to carry out a restoration
of the instrument with some modifications.
This instrument was last used on March 23, 1959 to
celebrate the centenary of the creation of "Faust"
by Charles Gounod, played by the André Marchal,
who returned to play it occasionally until 1964.
Since 1974, the organ became unplayable.
However, the original piping is still intact.
This organ, unique in its kind, was classified as a
Historic Monument in 1990 thanks to Norbert
Dufourcq and Claude Noisette de Crauzat.
Attemps to save this organ are ongoing.