Opéra national de Paris
Logo of the Paris Opera
The Paris Opera (French: Opéra de Paris; French:
Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.
Ballet is a type of performance dance that originated during the Italian Renaissance in the fifteenth century and later developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. It has since become a widespread, highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary based on French terminology. It has been globally influential and has defined the foundational techniques used in many other dance genres and cultures. Ballet has been taught in various schools around the world, which have historically incorporated their own cultures and as a result, the art has evolved in a number of distinct ways. See glossary of ballet.
The company's annual budget is in the order of 200 million euros, of which 100 million come from the French state and 70 million from box office receipts.With this money, the company runs the two houses and supports a large permanent staff, which includes the orchestra of 170, a chorus of 110 and the corps de ballet of 150.
An orchestra is a large instrumental ensemble typical of classical music, which mixes instruments from different families, including bowed string instruments such as violin, viola, cello, and double bass, as well as brass, woodwinds, and percussion instruments, each grouped in sections. Other instruments such as the piano and celesta may sometimes appear in a fifth keyboard section or may stand alone, as may the concert harp and, for performances of some modern compositions, electronic instruments.
A choir is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform. Choirs may perform music from the classical music repertoire, which spans from the medieval era to the present, or popular music repertoire. Most choirs are led by a conductor, who leads the performances with arm and face gestures.
In ballet, the corps de ballet[kɔʁ də balɛ] is the group of dancers who are not soloists. They are a permanent part of the ballet company and often work as a backdrop for the principal dancers. A corps de ballet works as one, with synchronized movements and corresponding positioning on the stage.
Each year, the Opéra presents about 380 performances of opera, ballet and other concerts, to a total audience of about 800,000 people (of whom 17% come from abroad), which is a very good average seat occupancy rate of 94%.In the 2012/13 season, the Opéra presented 18 opera titles (two in a double bill), 13 ballets, 5 symphonic concerts and two vocal recitals, plus 15 other programmes. The company's training bodies are also active, with 7 concerts from the Atelier Lyrique and 4 programmes from the École de Danse.
The poet Pierre Perrin began thinking and writing about the possibility of French opera in 1655, more than a decade before the official founding of the Paris Opera as an institution. He believed that the prevailing opinion of the time that the French language was fundamentally unmusical was completely incorrect. Seventeenth-century France offered Perrin essentially two types of organization for realizing his vision: a royal academy or a public theater. In 1666 he proposed to the minister Colbert that "the king decree 'the establishment of an Academy of Poetry and Music' whose goal would be to synthesize the French language and French music into an entirely new lyric form."
Pierre Perrin was a French poet and librettist.
From the seventeenth century to the early part of the twentieth century, artistic production in France was controlled by artistic academies which organized official exhibitions called salons. In France, academies are institutions and learned societies which monitor, foster, critique and protect French cultural production.
Jean-Baptiste Colbert was a French politician who served as the Minister of Finances of France from 1661 to 1683 under the rule of King Louis XIV. His relentless hard work and thrift made him an esteemed minister. He achieved a reputation for his work of improving the state of French manufacturing and bringing the economy back from the brink of bankruptcy. Historians note that, despite Colbert's efforts, France actually became increasingly impoverished because of the King's excessive spending on wars. Colbert worked to create a favourable balance of trade and increase France's colonial holdings.
Even though Perrin's original concept was of an academy devoted to discussions of French opera, the king's intention was in fact a unique hybrid of royal academy and public theatre, with an emphasis on the latter as an institution for performance.On 28 June 1669, Louis XIV signed the Privilège accordé au Sieur Perrin pour l'établissement d'une Académie d'Opéra en musique, & Vers François (Privilege granted to Sir Perrin for the establishment of an Academy of Opera in music, & French Verse). The wording of the privilège , based in part on Perrin's own writings, gave him the exclusive right for 12 years to found anywhere in France academies of opera dedicated to the performance of opera in French. He was free to select business partners of his choice and to set the price of tickets. No one was to have the right of free entry including members of the royal court, and no one else could set up a similar institution. Although it was to be a public theatre, it retained its status as royal academy in which the authority of the king as the primary stakeholder was decisive. The monopoly, originally intended to protect the enterprise from competition during its formative phase, was renewed for subsequent recipients of the privilege up to the early French Revolution. As Victoria Johnson points out, "the Opera was an organization by nature so luxurious and expensive in its productions that its very survival depended on financial protection and privilege."
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch, president, or other head of state, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation. Letters patent can be used for the creation of corporations or government offices, or for the granting of city status or a coat of arms. Letters patent are issued for the appointment of representatives of the Crown, such as governors and governors-general of Commonwealth realms, as well as appointing a Royal Commission. In the United Kingdom they are also issued for the creation of peers of the realm. A particular form of letters patent has evolved into the modern patent granting exclusive rights in an invention. In this case it is essential that the written grant should be in the form of a public document so other inventors can consult it to avoid infringement and also to understand how to "practice" the invention, i.e., put it into practical use.
The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.
Perrin converted the Bouteille tennis court, located on the Rue des Fossés de Nesles (now 42 Rue Mazarine),into a rectangular facility with provisions for stage machinery and scenery changes and a capacity of about 1200 spectators. His first opera Pomone with music by Robert Cambert opened on 3 March 1671 and ran for 146 performances. A second work, Les peines et les plaisirs de l'amour, with a libretto by Gabriel Gilbert and music by Cambert, was performed in 1672.
Pomone (Pomona) is a pastoral opera in a prologue and five acts by Robert Cambert with a libretto by Pierre Perrin. It has been described as "effectively the first French opera." It was first performed in Paris at the Jeu de Paume de la Bouteille theatre belonging to Cambert and Perrin's Académie d'Opéra on 3 March 1671. The production had ballets choreographed by Des Brosses and sets and machinery designed by Alexandre de Rieux, marquis de Sourdéac. The novelty of the work drew large audiences and the opera enjoyed 146 performances over the eight months of its run. The score of Pomone has only partially survived.
Robert Cambert was a French composer principally of opera. His opera Pomone was the first actual opera in French.
Gabriel Gilbert was a 17th-century French poet and playwright.
Despite this early success, Cambert and two other associates did not hesitate to swindle Perrin, who was imprisoned for debt and forced to concede his privilege on 13 March 1672 to the surintendant of the king's music Jean-Baptiste Lully. The institution was renamed the Académie Royale de Musique and came to be known in France simply as the Opéra. Within one month Lully had convinced the king to expand the privilege by restricting the French and Italian comedians to using two singers rather than six, and six instrumentalists, rather than twelve. Because of legal difficulties Lully could not use the Salle de la Bouteille, and a new theatre was built by Carlo Vigarani at the Bel-Air tennis court on the Rue de Vaugirard.Later, Lully and his successors bitterly negotiated the concession of the privilege, in whole or in part, from the entrepreneurs in the provinces: in 1684 Pierre Gautier bought the authorisation to open a music academy in Marseille, then the towns of Lyon, Rouen, Lille and Bordeaux followed suit in the following years.
During Lully's tenure, the only works performed were his own. The first productions were the pastorale Les fêtes de l'Amour et de Bacchus (November 1672) and his first tragedie lyrique called Cadmus et Hermione (27 April 1673).
After Molière's death in 1673, his troupe merged with the players at the Théâtre du Marais to form the Théâtre Guénégaud (at the same theatre that had been used by the Académie d'Opéra), and no longer needed the theatre built by Richelieu at his residence the Palais-Royal, near the Louvre. (In 1680 the troupe at the Guénégaud merged again with the players from the Hôtel de Bourgogne forming the Comédie-Française.)Richelieu's theatre had been designed by Jacques Le Mercier and had opened in 1641, and unlike the huge theatre at the Tuileries Palace, which could accommodate 6,000 to 8,000 spectators, was of a size consistent with good acoustics. Lully greatly desired a better theatre and persuaded the king to let him use the one at the Palais-Royal free of charge. The Théâtre du Palais-Royal had been altered in 1660 and 1671, but Lully, with 3,000 livres received from the king, had further changes made by Vigarani in 1674.
The first production in the new theatre was Alceste on 19 January 1674. The opera was bitterly attacked by those enraged at the restrictions that Lully had caused to be placed on the French and Italian comedians. To mitigate the damage, Louis XIV arranged for new works to be premiered at the court, usually at the Chateau Vieux of the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. This had the further advantage of subsidizing the cost of rehearsals, as well as most of the machinery, sets, and costumes, which were donated to the Opéra for use in Paris.During Lully's time at the Opéra, performances were given all year, except for three weeks at Easter. Regular performances were on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The premieres presented at court were usually during Carnival and were moved to the Palais-Royal after Easter, where the openings were on Thursdays. About two to three new works were mounted each year. In all, thirteen of Lully's tragédie en musique were performed there (see the list of compositions by Jean-Baptiste Lully).
After Lully died (in 1687), the number of new works per year almost doubled, since his successors (Pascal Collasse, Henri Desmarets, André Campra, André Cardinal Destouches, and Marin Marais) had greater difficulty sustaining the interest of the public. Revivals of Lully's works were common. French composers at the Opéra generally wrote music to new librettos, which had to be approved by the directors of the company. The Italian practice of preparing new settings of existing librettos was considered controversial and did not become the norm in Paris until around 1760. One of the most important of the new works during this period was an opéra-ballet by Campra called L'Europe galante presented in 1697.
In 1661 Louis XIV, who was a dancer himself and one of the great architects of baroque ballet (the art form which would one day evolve into classical ballet), established the Académie Royale de Danse, intended to codify court and character dances and to certify dance teachers by examination.From 1680 until Lully's death, it was under the direction of the great dancing master Pierre Beauchamp, the man who codified the five positions of the feet. When Lully took over the Opéra in 1672, he and Beauchamp made theatrical ballet an important part of the company's productions. The ballet of that time was merely an extension of the opera, having yet to evolve into an independent form of theatrical art. As it became more important, however, the dance component of the company began to be referred to as the Paris Opera Ballet. In 1713 an associated ballet school was opened, today known as the Paris Opera Ballet School. The Académie Royale de Danse remained separate, and with the fall of the monarchy in 1789 it disappeared.
With the French Revolution and the founding of the Republic, the company changed names several times, dropping its association with the royal family (see the List of official company names for details), and in 1794, moved into the Théâtre National de la rue de la Loi (capacity 2800)where it took the name Théâtre des Arts. In 1797, it was renamed the Théâtre de la République et des Arts.
Napoleon took control of the company in 1802 and with the declaration of the French Empire in 1804, renamed the company the Académie Impériale de Musique.With the Restoration in 1814, the company was renamed the Académie Royale de Musique. It became part of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1816. In 1821, the company moved to the Salle Le Peletier, which had a capacity of 1900 spectators and where it remained until the building was destroyed by fire in 1873.
In the second half of the 19th century, with the ascension of Napoleon III in 1851, the name Académie Impériale de Musique was reinstated and after 1870 with the formation of the Third Republic, was changed to Théâtre National de l'Opéra.
In 1875, the institution occupied a new home, the Palais Garnier.Between 1908 and 1914 Henri Benjamin Rabaud conducted at Palais Garnier. Rabaud also composed several works which first premiered at Opéra-Comique, but were later also performed at Palais Garnier.
In 1939, the Opéra was merged with the Opéra-Comique and the company name became Réunion des Théâtres Lyriques Nationaux. The Opéra-Comique was closed in 1972 with the appointment of Rolf Liebermann as general administrator of the Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris (1973–1980), but in 1976, the Opéra-Comique was restored.
In 1990 the Opéra moved its primary venue to the new Opéra-Bastille, becoming the Opéra de Paris, although it continued to mount productions, primarily ballet, at the Palais Garnier; and the Opéra-Comique regained its autonomy. In 1994 the Opéra de Paris became the Opéra National de Paris.Regardless of all the changes in its "official" name, the company and its theatres were commonly referred to as the Opéra.
|28 June 1669||Académie d'Opéra||Perrin granted license by Louis XIV|
|13 March 1672||Académie Royale de Musique||Lully granted license by Louis XIV|
|24 June 1791||Opéra||Louis XVI flees Paris 21 June|
|29 June 1791||Académie de Musique||Louis XVI returns to Paris 25 June.|
|17 September 1791||Académie Royale de Musique||Royal family attends opera 20 September|
|15 August 1792||Académie de Musique||Louis XVI arrested 13 August|
|12 August 1793||Opéra||Ratification of the Constitution of 1793|
|18 October 1793||Opéra National||Republican Calendar adopted 24 October|
|7 August 1794||Théâtre des Arts||Opéra moves to the Salle Montansier|
|2 February 1797||Théâtre de la République et des Arts|
|24 August 1802||Théâtre de l'Opéra|
|29 June 1804||Académie Impériale de Musique||First Empire (Napoleon) (18 May)|
|3 April 1814||Académie de Musique|
|5 April 1814||Académie Royale de Musique||First Restoration (April)|
|21 March 1815||Académie Impériale de Musique||Hundred Days of Napoleon (20 March)|
|9 July 1815||Académie Royale de Musique||Second Restoration (8 July)|
|4 August 1830||Théâtre de l'Opéra||Charles X abdicates (2 August).|
|10 August 1830||Académie Royale de Musique||July Monarchy|
|26 February 1848||Théâtre de la Nation||Second Republic|
|29 March 1848||Opéra-Théâtre de la Nation|
|2 September 1850||Académie Nationale de Musique|
|2 December 1852||Académie Impériale de Musique||Second Empire (Napoleon III)|
|1 July 1854||Théâtre Impérial de l'Opéra||Supervision assumed by Imperial Household|
|4 September 1870||Théâtre de l'Opéra||Third Republic|
|17 September 1870||Théâtre National de l'Opéra|
|14 January 1939||Réunion des Théâtres Lyriques Nationaux||Opéra takes control of Opéra-Comique|
|7 February 1978||Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris|
|2 April 1990||Opéra de Paris||Move to the Opéra Bastille; Opéra-Comique regains autonomy|
|5 February 1994||Opéra National de Paris|
|Salle de la Bouteille||3 March 1671 – 1 April 1672||Located on the Rue Mazarine; eventually demolished.|
|Salle du Bel-Air||10? November 1672 – June 1673||Located on the Rue de Vaugirard; also called Jeu de Paume de Béquet; eventually demolished.|
|Salle du Palais-Royal (1st)||16 June 1673 – 6 April 1763||Built 1641; altered 1660, 1671, and 1674; destroyed by fire 6 April 1763.|
|Salle des Tuileries||24 January 1764 – 23 January 1770||Remodeled first to a much smaller theatre by Soufflot.|
|Salle du Palais-Royal (2nd)||26 January 1770 – 8 June 1781||Destroyed by fire 8 June 1781.|
|Salle des Menus-Plaisirs||14 August – 23 October 1781||Located on the Rue Bergère; former theatre of the Opéra-Comique of the Foire St. Laurent; eventually demolished.|
|Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin||27 October 1781 – 7 March 1794||Built in two months by Samson-Nicholas Lenoir at the request of Marie Antoinette.|
|Théâtre National de la rue de la Loi||26 July 1794 – 13 February 1820||Montansier's 1793 theatre; street name restored to Rue de Richelieu in 1806; theatre demolished 1820; site now Square Louvois.|
|Salle Favart (1st)||19 April 1820 – 11 May 1821||Theatre of the Opéra-Comique on the Place Boieldieu; destroyed by fire on 13–14 January 1838.|
|Salle Louvois||25 May – 15 June 1821||Built in 1791; the company performed there 3 times: 25 May, and 1 and 15 June.|
|Salle Le Peletier||16 August 1821 – 28 October 1873||Built on the Rue Le Peletier as temporary quarters; destroyed by fire 28–29 October 1873.|
|Salle Ventadour||19 January 1874 – 30 December 1874||Shared the theatre with its long-time occupant the Théâtre-Italien until the Palais Garnier was completed.|
|Palais Garnier||5 January 1875 – 29 June 1936||Designed by Charles Garnier; located at the Place de l'Opéra.|
|Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt||1 August 1936 – 20 November 1936||Performed at this theatre while the Palais Garnier was under renovation.|
|Théâtre des Champs-Élysées||30 November 1936 – 17 February 1937||Performed at this theatre while the Palais Garnier was under renovation.|
|Palais Garnier||21 February 1937 – present||Reopened at the renovated theatre.|
|Opéra Bastille||13 July 1989 – present||Designed by Carlos Ott; the official opening concert was on 13 July 1989 to celebrate the bicentennial of the French Revolution.|
|28 June 1669||Pierre Perrin||Royal Household|
|30 March 1672||Jean-Baptiste Lully|
|27 June 1687||Jean-Nicolas de Francine|
|30 December 1688||Jean Nicolas de Francine, Hyacinthe de Gauréault Dumont|
|7 October 1704||Pierre Guyenet|
|12 December 1712||Jean Nicolas de Francine, Hyacinthe de Gauréault Dumont|
|8 February 1728||André-Cardinal Destouches|
|1 June 1730||Maximilien-Claude Gruer|
|18 August 1731||Claude Lecomte (Opera director) Lebœuf|
|30 May 1733||Eugène de Thuret|
|18 March 1744||Jean-François Berger|
|3 May 1748||Joseph Guénot de Tréfontaine|
|25 August 1749|| Louis-Basile de Bernage, Marquis d'Argenson, then François Rebel |
and François Francœur
|City of Paris|
|13 March 1757||François Rebel, François Francœur||Royal Household|
|9 February 1767||Pierre Montan Berton, Jean-Claude Trial|
|9 November 1769||Pierre Montan Berton, Jean-Claude Trial,|
Antoine Dauvergne, Joliveau
|City of Paris|
|18 April 1776||Direction by the Royal Commissioners||Royal Commissioners|
|18 October 1777||Jacques de Vismes|
|19 February 1779||City of Paris|
|19 March 1780||Pierre Montan Berton||Royal Accountant|
|27 May 1780||Antoine Dauvergne, François-Joseph Gossec|
|8 April 1790||City of Paris|
|8 March 1792|| Louis-Joseph Francœur, Jacques Cellerier |
(under committee headed by J.-J.Leroux)
|17 September 1793||Committee of the Commune (with François Lays)|
|1 May 1797||Committee of the Commune|
|12 September 1799||Jacques Devisme (formerly Jacques de Vismes du Valgay),|
Joseph Bonet de Treyches
|13 March 1800||Jacques Devisme|
|25 December 1800||Joseph Bonet de Treyches|
|19 December 1801||Jacques Cellerier|
|26 November 1802||Prefect Étienne Morel de Chefdeville, then|
Joseph Bonet de Treyches as Director
|Prefects of the Palace|
|1 November 1807||Louis-Benoit Picard||Imperial Superintendents|
|3 April 1814||Royal Superintendents|
|18 January 1816||Denis Pierre Jean Papillon de la Ferté|
|30 March 1817||Alexandre Étienne Choron|
|30 October 1819||Giovanni-Battista Viotti|
|1 November 1821||François-Antoine Habeneck|
|26 November 1824||Raphaël Duplantys|
|12 July 1827||Émile Timothée Lubbert|
|2 March 1831||Louis-Désiré Véron||Franchised entrepreneurship|
with state subvention
|15 August 1835||Henri Duponchel|
|15 November 1839||Henri Duponchel, Édouard Monnais|
|1 June 1840||Henri Duponchel, Édouard Monnais, Léon Pillet|
|1 June 1841||Henri Duponchel, Léon Pillet|
|October 1841||Léon Pillet|
|1 August 1847||Léon Pillet, Henri Duponchel, Nestor Roqueplan|
|24 November 1847||Henri Duponchel, Nestor Roqueplan|
|21 November 1849||Nestor Roqueplan|
|1 July 1854||Imperial Household|
|11 November 1854||François-Louis Crosnier|
|1 July 1856||Alphonse Royer|
|20 December 1862||Émile Perrin|
|11 April 1866||Franchised entrepreneurship|
with state subvention
|1 October 1870||State administration|
|28 October 1870||Society of Artists|
with state subvention
|9 May 1871||Eugène Garnier|
|3 July 1871||Émile Perrin|
|9 July 1871||Hyacinthe Halanzier|
|1 November 1871||Private entrepreneurship|
with state subvention
|16 July 1879||Auguste Vaucorbeil|
|1 December 1884||Eugène Ritt, Pedro Gailhard|
|1 January 1892||Eugène Bertrand, Édouard Colonne|
|1 April 1893||Eugène Bertrand, Pedro Gailhard|
|31 December 1899||Pedro Gailhard|
|1907||Pedro Gailhard, Pierre Barthélemy Gheusi|
|1 January 1908||Leimistin Broussan, André Messager|
|1 January 1915||Jacques Rouché|
|14 January 1939||State administration:|
Réunion des Théâtres
Lyrique Nationaux [ fr ]
(Opéra and Opéra-Comique
merged under one
|1940||Jacques Rouché (RTLN), Philippe Gaubert (Opéra)|
|1942||Jacques Rouché (RTLN), Marcel Samuel-Rousseau (Opéra)|
|21 February 1945||René Gadave (interim administrator)|
|27 June 1945||Maurice Lehmann (RTLN), Reynaldo Hahn (Opéra)|
|12 May 1946||Georges Hirsch (RTLN), Henri Büsser (Opéra)|
|17 November 1951||Maurice Lehmann (RTLN), Emmanuelle Bondville (Opéra)|
|30 September 1955||Jacques Ibert (RTLN), Emmanuelle Bondville (Opéra)|
|13 April 1956||Georges Hirsch (RTLN), Emmanuelle Bondville (Opéra)|
|August 1959||A.-M. Julien (RTLN), Emmanuelle Bondville (Opéra)|
|19 April 1962||Georges Auric (RTLN), Emmanuelle Bondville (Opéra)|
|September 1968||André Chabaud (interim director)|
|1 October 1969||René Nicoly|
|23 May 1971|| Jean-Yves Daniel-Lesur (RTLN),|
Bernard Lefort (Opéra)
|1 January 1972||Rolf Liebermann||(Opéra-Comique closed)|
|7 February 1978||Théâtre National de|
l'Opéra de Paris
|31 July 1980||Bernard Lefort|
|September 1982||Interim committee: Paul Puaux Jean-Pierre Leclerc ,|
Alain Lombard, Georges-François Hirsch
|1 August 1983||Massimo Bogianckino|
|24 September 1985|
|12 February 1986||Jean-Louis Martinoty|
|13 July 1989||(Opéra Bastille opens)|
|1 September 1989|| Jean-Albert Cartier |
(general administrator of the Palais Garnier)
|2 April 1990||Pierre Bergé (president)||Opéra de Paris|
|15 May 1991|| Georges-François Hirsch |
(general administrator of the Palais Garnier)
|1 September 1992|| Brigitte Lefèvre |
(general administrator of the Palais Garnier)
|5 February 1994||Opéra National de Paris|
|15 February 1994||Jean-Paul Cluzel (inspector general of finances)|
|1 August 1995||Hugues Gall|
|September 2004||Gerard Mortier|
|1 August 2009||Nicolas Joel|
|1 August 2014||Stéphane Lissner|
In the period from 1725 to 1791 there were essentially four public theatres which were permitted in Paris:
In 1762, the Opéra-Comique merged with the Comédie-Italienne.
In 1791, the laws were changed allowing almost anyone to open a public theatre. This led to rapid growth in the number of theatres and companies and complexities in their naming. Theatres might burn down and be rebuilt using the name of an old or new company or patron. Some of the new theatres that appeared during this period include:
After about 1870, the situation was simpler with regard to opera, with primarily the Opéra and the Opéra-Comique in operation. The naming situation became somewhat confusing after the Opéra-Comique's theater (the second Salle Favart) burned on 25 May 1887, since the company began performing in other locations. Companies other than the Opéra producing operas or operettas at various theatres in this period included:
Antoine Houdar de la Motte was a French author.
The Opéra-Comique is a Parisian opera company, which was founded around 1714 by some of the popular theatres of the Parisian fairs. In 1762 the company was merged with, and for a time took the name of its chief rival the Comédie-Italienne at the Hôtel de Bourgogne, and was also called the Théâtre-Italien up to about 1793, when it again became most commonly known as the Opéra-Comique. Today the company's official name is Théâtre national de l'Opéra-Comique, and its theatre, with a capacity of around 1,248 seats, sometimes referred to as the Salle Favart, is located in Place Boïeldieu, in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, not far from the Palais Garnier, one of the theatres of the Paris Opéra. The musicians and others associated with the Opéra-Comique have made important contributions to operatic history and tradition in France, and to French opera. Its current mission is to reconnect with its history, and discover its unique repertoire, to ensure production and dissemination of operas for the wider public. Mainstays of the repertory at the Opéra-Comique during its history have included the following works which have each been performed more than 1,000 times by the company: Cavalleria Rusticana, Le chalet, La dame blanche, Le domino noir, La fille du régiment, Lakmé, Manon, Mignon, Les noces de Jeannette, Le pré aux clercs, Tosca, La bohème, Werther and Carmen, the last having been performed more than 2,500 times.
The Paris Opera Ballet is an integral part of the Paris Opera and the oldest national ballet company. Together with the Mariinsky Ballet, Moscow Bolshoi Ballet and the London Royal Ballet it is regarded as one of the four most preeminent ballet companies in the world.
Armide is an opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck, set to a libretto by Philippe Quinault. Gluck's fifth production for the Parisian stage and the composer's own favourite among his works, it was first performed on 23 September 1777 by the Académie Royale de Musique in the second Salle du Palais-Royal in Paris.
Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges, French playwright, was born and died in Paris. He was one of the most prolific librettists of the 19th century, often working in collaboration with others.
The Salle Le Peletier was the home of the Paris Opera from 1821 until the building was destroyed by fire in 1873. The theatre was designed and constructed by the architect François Debret on the site of the garden of the Hôtel de Choiseul on the rue Lepeletier. Due to the many changes in government and management during the theatre's existence, it had a number of different official names, the most important of which were: Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique (1821–1848), Opéra-Théâtre de la Nation (1848–1850), Théâtre de l'Académie Nationale de Musique (1850–1852), Théâtre de l'Académie Impériale de Musique (1852–1854), Théâtre Impérial de l'Opéra (1854–1870), and Théâtre National de l'Opéra (1870–1873).
Opéra-ballet is a genre of French Baroque lyric theatre that was most popular during the 18th century, combining elements of opera and ballet, "that grew out of the ballets à entrées of the early seventeenth century". It differed from the more elevated tragédie en musique as practised by Jean-Baptiste Lully in several ways. It contained more dance music than the tragédie, and the plots were not necessarily derived from classical mythology and allowed for the comic elements, which Lully had excluded from the tragédie en musique after Thésée (1675). The opéra-ballet consisted of a prologue followed by a number of self-contained acts, often loosely grouped around a single theme. The individual acts could also be performed independently, in which case they were known as actes de ballet.
Phaëton is a tragédie en musique in a prologue and five acts by Jean-Baptiste Lully. Philippe Quinault wrote the French libretto after a story from Ovid's Metamorphoses. It can be read as an allegorical depiction of the punishment awaiting those mortals who dare to raise themselves as high as the "sun".
La double épreuve, ou Colinette à la cour, is a comédie lyrique in three acts written by André Grétry in 1782 to a French libretto by Jean-Baptiste Lourdet de Santerre, based on Charles Simon Favart's Ninette à la cour.
Roland is a tragédie lyrique in three acts by the composer Niccolò Piccinni. The opera was a new setting of a libretto written by Philippe Quinault for Jean-Baptiste Lully in 1685, specially adapted for Piccinni by Jean-François Marmontel and based on Ludovico Ariosto's epic poem Orlando Furioso. The opera was first performed on 27 January 1778 by the Académie Royale de Musique at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal.
Rosine Bloch was a French operatic mezzo-soprano of Jewish descent who had a successful stage career in Europe between 1865 and 1891. She not only possessed a beautiful, warm, and lyrical voice but was also a remarkably beautiful woman physically. Although most of her career was spent performing at the Opéra in Paris, she also appeared in stages in Belgium, Monaco, and England.
Henri Duponchel was in turn a French architect, interior designer, costume designer, stage designer, stage director, managing director of the Paris Opera, and a silversmith. He has often been confused with Charles-Edmond Duponchel, a contemporary who also lived and worked in Paris.
Désiré Guillaume Édouard Monnais was a French journalist, theater director, playwright and librettist.
Léon Pillet, was a 19th-century French journalist, civil servant, and director of the Paris Opera from 1840 to 1847. A political appointee, he was probably the least successful director of the Paris Opera in the 19th century.
The Théâtre du Palais-Royal on the rue Saint-Honoré in Paris was a theatre in the east wing of the Palais-Royal, which opened on 14 January 1641 with a performance of Jean Desmarets' tragicomedy Mirame. The theatre was used by the troupe of Molière from 1660 to 1673 and as an opera house by the Académie Royale de Musique from 1673 to 1763, when it was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1770, but again was destroyed by fire in 1781 and not rebuilt.
Théodore Lajarte was a French musicologist, librarian, and composer.
Frédégonde is an 1895 French opera in five acts with music by Ernest Guiraud, Camille Saint-Saëns, and Paul Dukas and a libretto by Louis Gallet based on Augustin Thierry's Récits des temps mérovingiens (1840).
Gaston Salvayre, (24 June 1847 in Toulouse – 17 May 1916 in Ramonville-Saint-Agne was a French composer and music critic, who won the prix de Rome for composition in 1872.