Paris Travel Planner   Opera in Paris, France
Paris has several spectacular places to enjoy opera.




Opera thrives in Paris in the modern building known as the Opéra Bastille, as well as in the more beloved Opéra Garnier (or Palais Garnier). If you enjoy opera, Paris is an excellent place to enjoy it during the season (September through May).

We first saw an interesting production at the Opéra Bastille of Le roi Arthus, by Ernest Chausson, a work that is not frequently performed. Done in modern dress, it was an ambitious and enjoyable performance. More recently, we enjoyed performances of wonderful Bellini operas I Puritani and I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Romeo and Juliette). These were both at the Opéra Bastille, and we have also seen wonderful productions at the Opéra Garnier.

Opera Bastille, Paris
Colorful costumes and set for Le roi Arthus at the Opéra Bastille.

It is wonderful to be inside the Opéra Bastille, a somewhat controversial building that dominates the Place de la Bastille. Opened in 1989, it was built on the site of the former Bastille Train station. Fittingly, the opening was on July 13, 1989, 200 years after the storming of the Bastille. (Note that this construction also led to the creation of the nearby Promenade Plantée, a lovely elevated park built on the former rail line.)

Both the Opéra Garnier and the Opéra Bastille offer wonderful tours. For the Opéra Garnier you can experience a guided tour or wander at your own pace with a multimedia guide. The Opéra Bastille tours are guided tours and only in French.

Paris being Paris, it's shouldn't ome as a surprise that there are additional spectacular places to enjoy opera in this city of the arts.

We saw a fine Rigoletto in the open air of the Jardin du Luxembourg, with the Palais du Luxembourg as the backdrop. Other grand Parisian edifices are used as settings as well.

Palais du Luxembourg, Paris
Palais du Luxembourg as the backdrop for Rigoletto,
on a lovely June evening.

The major venue for light opera and operetta— enjoyable whether you know French or not—is the Opéra Comique, 5 Rue Favart (Métro: Richelieu-Druout).

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Opera Garnier, Paris, France

Above, Palais Garnier, the "Paris Opéra"

Below, The glass walls of the Opéra Bastille provide lovely views of Paris and make for a light and welcoming setting.

  Opera Bastille, Paris    
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