Short description

The Bastille Opéra is a modern opera house located on the Place de la Bastille in Paris. It was designed by Carlos Ott and inaugurated in 1989 on the occasion of the festivities of the bicentenary of the Revolution

With its 2,745 seats, the main hall of the Bastille Opera compares to the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera (2,679 seats), the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (1,720) or the Metropolitan Opera in New York (2/3 of its 3,800 seats).

President François Mitterrand decided in 1982, on the proposal of his Minister of Culture Jack Lang, to build a new opera house in Paris, considering the Garnier opera house to be too small and outdated in technical terms. He wanted a "modern and popular" opera.

Tours led by a lecturer take visitors behind the scenes of this modern theater with impressive dimensions. They are suspended during the Covid period.

The Opéra Bastille is a veritable city that comes alive before and during the shows: stage technicians, sculptors and painters, seamstresses and hairdressers, etc., organized by "project". Each project is in fact a given show, with specific "show objectives".

Localisation
Open hours

VISIT OF the Opéra Bastille - Information for individuals

Visits to the Opéra Bastille are suspended until further notice (COVID).
We thank you for your understanding and will keep you informed as soon as possible of the reopening of visits.

Please note that the checkroom is not open to visitors.

  • Information. By phone at 08 92 89 90 90 (0,35€ per minute) and from abroad at +33 1 71 25 24 23, from Monday to Saturday from 9am to 7pm.
  • How to reserve. Reserve your e.ticket. Directly online by clicking on the "Book" button of the tour you are interested in. You will need to create an account on the Paris Opera website if you do not already have one.
    Rates
    Full price (17€): visitors over 25 years old
    Reduced rate (12€)*: young people under 25, holders of the Pass Culture 12e/9e, Pass Académie, jobseekers, beneficiaries of social assistance/RSA/other social minima**, holders of a ticket for an independent visit to the Palais Garnier
    Reduced rate (9€) *: disabled persons with an accompanying person, Pass Jeunes or AROP member card, Paris Opera subscriber card.
    * Upon presentation of a valid receipt.
    Upon presentation of a valid document. ** Upon presentation of a valid document less than 3 months old.
  • Accessibility and regulations
    In order to protect the health of visitors and Paris Opera staff, we remind you that all visitors aged 11 and over must wear a mask throughout the visit.
  • Meeting point with the tour guide: Opéra Bastille, Artists' and Staff Entrance, 120 rue de Lyon, 75012 Paris.
  • The visit is not accessible to people with reduced mobility or to children under 10 years of age. Closed shoes must be worn to access the tour.

TO ATTEND THE SHOWS

  • Be sure to check the location of the performance you are attending. The Opéra national de Paris has two theaters: the Palais Garnier and the Opéra Bastille.
  • Evening performances usually begin at 7:30 p.m. and matinees at 2:30 p.m., with the exception of some longer works (see schedules).
  • Patrons are advised to arrive no later than 45 minutes before the performance.
  • The performance always begins at the time indicated on the website and on the tickets.
  • Latecomers are only admitted to the theatre at the interval. The theater doors close 15 minutes after the performance begins.

For individual spectators

  • By telephone on 08 92 89 90 90 (€0.35/min (all taxes included) from a landline, excluding any costs depending on the operator) or on +33 1 71 25 24 23 from abroad, Monday to Saturday from 9am to 7pm.
  • At the Palais Garnier box office (at the corner of rue Scribe and rue Auber - 75009 Paris): Monday to Saturday (except on public holidays) from 10am to 6:30pm and 1 hour before performances.
  • At the Opera Bastille box office (120 rue de Lyon - 75012 Paris): Monday to Saturday (except on public holidays) from 2:30 pm (12 pm on days when reservations are open) to 6:30 pm and 1 hour before performances.

ANNUAL CLOSING
Annual closing from mid-July to the end of August.

 

Access

Opéra national de Paris - Opéra Bastille
120 rue de Lyon
Paris, 75012, France

  • Metro - Bastille station - lines 1, 5 and 8
  • RER - Gare de Lyon station - line A
  • Train SNCF - Gare de Lyon
  • Bus - 29, 69, 76, 86, 87, 91
Address

Opéra Bastille
164 Rue De Lyon
75012 Paris  France

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ', ") 48°51′ 07″ N 2° 22′ 14″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.85229 2.36981
Reservation

RESERVATION FOR THE SHOWS

  • Online, in the Programming and Tickets section.
  • Via the Opéra national de Paris application available on iOS and Android for smartphones and tablets.
  • At the Palais Garnier box office (corner of rue Scribe and rue Auber - 75009 Paris): Monday to Saturday (except on public holidays) from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm and 1 hour before the performance.
  • At the Opéra Bastille box office (120 rue de Lyon - 75012 Paris): Monday through Saturday (except holidays) from 2:30 p.m. (12:00 p.m. on days when reservations are open) to 6:30 p.m. and 1 hour before performances.
  • By phone at 08 92 89 90 90 (0,35 € TTC/min from a landline excluding possible costs according to the number of tickets)

EXCHANGES AND CANCELLATIONS - TICKET EXCHANGE : https://www.operadeparis.fr/services-et-infos-pratiques/echanges-et-annulation

ROOM PLAN AND RATES - depending on the show : https://www.operadeparis.fr/services-et-infos-pratiques/plans-de-salle-et-tarifs

PROGRAMMING - DATE OF 1st TICKET ON SALE :

  • 2021 - 2022 Season: https://www.operadeparis.fr/programmation-et-billets?season=21-22
  • 2022 - 2023 Season : https://www.operadeparis.fr/programmation-et-billets?season=22-23

RATES AND TERMS AND CONDITIONS: depending on the show - See seating plan

VISIT OF THE OPERA BASTILLE

  • Guided tours by a lecturer from the Opéra national de Paris. In French only. Duration: 1h30. Full price, 17€; Reduced price, 12€ (young people under 25, unemployed...)
  • Group visit Reservations are mandatory and must be made at least 21 days before the date of the visit for any group (minimum billing: 15 people - maximum: 35 people) with a guide from the Paris Opera. Requests should be sent by e-mail to visitebastille@operadeparis.fr or by post to the Visits Department, Opéra national de Paris, 8 rue Scribe, 75009 Paris. Adult group, 17€/pers; School group, 7€/pers; B2B rate, 15€/pers. Requests in French, English, German. Duration: 1h30
  • Free
    Pass'Opéra Jeunes and Carte Culture holders.
  • Accepted payment methods
    • CB/Visa
    • Eurocard/Mastercard

 

 

Full description

The Bastille Opéra is a modern opera house located on the Place de la Bastille in Paris.

It is, with the Opéra Garnier, one of the two halls constituting the "Opéra de Paris", a French public institution whose mission is to implement the representation of lyrical or ballet performances of high artistic quality.

It was designed by Carlos Ott and inaugurated in 1989 on the occasion of the festivities of the bicentenary of the Revolution as part of the great works for Paris.

One of the largest opera houses in the world

With its 2,745 seats, the main hall of the Bastille Opera compares to the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera (2,679 seats), the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (1,720) or the Metropolitan Opera in New York (2/3 of its 3,800 seats).

The main hall with its homogeneous acoustics, its unique stage equipment, its integrated workshops for sets, costumes and props, its work and rehearsal rooms, the Opéra Bastille is a great modern theater.

The layout of the building

The main hall of the opera
It is 20 m high, 32 m deep and 40 m wide. Among the materials used are blue granite from Brittany and pear wood from China. The lighted ceiling is made of glass. The orchestra pit can hold up to 130 musicians. It can also be covered.

The stage

The stage, one of the most modern in the world, is 45 meters high, 30 meters wide and 25 meters deep. It has 9 elevators allowing to create several levels. The stage itself rests on 3 main elevators, which allow it to descend to the lower back stage located in the 6th basement.

Two backstage platforms. They are located behind the stage:

The main stage is located on the same level as the stage (1st floor). It includes a large turntable located behind the stage, 4 storage spaces with the same dimensions as the stage and the Gounod rehearsal stage. This rehearsal stage has the same dimensions as the main stage and also has an orchestra pit. It is separated from the rest of the stage by a thick shutter ensuring acoustic insulation. It is thus possible to organize a rehearsal during a performance on the main stage without disturbing it.
The lower stage is located on the 6th floor below (6th basement). It also includes a large turntable and 4 storage spaces of the same dimensions as the stage, as well as additional storage spaces.

These two levels are connected by a large freight elevator, and by the stage platform which can go up and down between the 1st floor and the 6th basement. On each level, a system of rails and motorized carts allows the movement of the sets.

The stage equipment: a spectacular machinery

The clearance spaces, 4 storage areas with the same dimensions as the stage, the backstage, with its turntable allowing the orientation of the sets, the circulation area for the sets between the stage and the workshops, the Gounod rehearsal stage, with its orchestra pit and its dimensions identical to the main stage, constitute the main innovations of the Bastille Opera House

The side rooms. The opera house has two side rooms:

A 500-seat amphitheater located under the main hall,
A 237-seat studio located in the annex building.

Organization of the stage work - The "opera city

The organization of the work of the technical stage is of the "project" type. It is organized according to specific "show objectives". The technical teams are organized by show, from the creation to the storage of sets and costumes.

So that, once the curtain is raised, the show can take place, hundreds of people unite their efforts and combine their know-how throughout the year. At the Bastille, a veritable city comes to life: stage technicians, sculptors and painters, seamstresses and hairdressers.

The Opera possesses state-of-the-art craftsmanship and techniques for props, costumes, wigs and sets. This mix of technical innovation and ancestral know-how is found in the Bastille workshops.

Operating costs. The Opéra Bastille's budget was 122 million euros in 2015. 48% comes from public subsidies, the rest from ticketing of shows, hall rentals, patronage.

Why the Bastille Opéra ?

President François Mitterrand decided in 1982, on the proposal of his Minister of Culture Jack Lang, to build a new opera house in Paris, considering the Garnier opera house to be too small and outdated in technical terms. He wanted a "modern and popular" opera.

The choice of the Gare Paris-Bastille

The location of the Paris-Bastille train station, located between the rue de Lyon and the rue de Charenton and at the level of the place de la Bastille, was chosen. Work began in 1984 with the demolition of the Paris-Bastille station, opened in 1859 and closed on December 14, 1969. Why on the site of a station? It was probably one of the few important spaces available without a purpose, close to the historical place of the Place de la Bastille dear to the left, also perhaps in order to imitate a precedent: President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing had built in the Orsay station a few years earlier the Musée d'Orsay that we know today.

The available land, with a surface area of 2.5 hectares, has the shape of a quadrilateral, oriented along a South-East-North-West axis.

The architecture of the Opera Bastille as seen by Carlos Ott

The Opera Bastille is the work of Carlos Ott, Canadian-Uruguayan architect, who was appointed in November 1983 after an international competition in which nearly 1700 architects participated. The inauguration took place on July 13, 1989 - the day before July 14, France's national holiday.
Its architecture is marked by the transparency of the facades and by the use of identical materials inside and out. The building, with a total surface area of 160,000 m2, is 80 meters high, 50 meters above ground and 30 meters underground.

The beginnings of the Bastille Opera House

The Bastille Opera was inaugurated on July 13, 1989 for the bicentennial festivities of the storming of the Bastille, with a show directed by Bob Wilson, "The Night Before the Day". More than thirty heads of state or government, including U.S. President George H.W. Bush, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, attended the performance.

Regular performances did not begin until March 17, 1990, with Berlioz' "Les Troyens".

The deterioration of the facade

In 1991, the State filed a lawsuit against the contractors because of the rapid deterioration of the building's façade. A controversy, many audits and studies, a battle of experts will last for many years to define the distribution of blame. However, it should be noted that the only stone that fell was glued and not attached. The urgency of the delivery under political pressure to be ready for the bicentennial of the revolution led to costly shortcuts for the future. The state will finally win this long trial only in 2007. The builders were ordered to pay for the replacement of the 36,000 90 cm x 90 cm limestone slabs, at a cost of nine million euros. The studies having been made in 2005-2006, the works could start in the summer of 2007 and be finished 2 years later.

Tours organized by the Opéra Bastille

Tours led by a lecturer take visitors behind the scenes of this modern theater with impressive dimensions. They are suspended during the Covid period.

 

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