Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette
This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
September 23 is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 99 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1964, the Paris Opera, Palais Garnier, unveils a stunning new ceiling painted as a gift by Belorussian-born artist Marc Chagall, who spent much of his life in France. The ceiling was typical of Chagall’s masterpieces–childlike in its apparent simplicity yet luminous with color and evocative of the world of dreams and the subconscious. . . .
. . . . Andre Malraux, the French minister of culture, commissioned him to design a new ceiling for the Paris Opera after seeing Chagall’s work in Daphnis et Chloe. Working with a surface of 560 square meters, Chagall divided the ceiling into color zones that he filled with landscapes and figures representing the luminaries of opera and ballet. The ceiling was unveiled on September 23, 1964, during a performance of the same Daphnis et Chloe. As usual, a few detractors condemned Chagall’s work as overly primitive, but this criticism was drowned out in the general acclaim for the work. In 1966, as a gift to the city that had sheltered him during World War II, he painted two vast murals for New York’s Metropolitan Opera House (1966).
In 1977, France honored Chagall with a retrospective exhibition at the Louvre in Paris. He continued to work vigorously until his death in 1985 at the age of 97.
The unveiling of the ceiling coincided with the publication of “The Phantom of the Opera“ (“Le Fantôme de l’Opéra”) by Gaston Leroux.
It was first published as a serialization in “Le Gaulois” from September 23, 1909 to January 8, 1910. Initially, the story sold very poorly upon publication in book form and was even out of print several times during the twentieth century, despite the success of its various film and stage adaptations. The most notable of these were the 1925 film depiction and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1986 musical. The Phantom of the Opera musical is now the longest running Broadway show in history, and one of the most lucrative entertainment enterprises of all time.