Renovations at Paris opera house: no performances before the end of 2020 at the Palais Garnier

Published by Caroline J. · Photos by My B. · Published on 4 August 2020 at 12h28 · Updated on 4 August 2020 at 16h48
Paris Opera is highly struggling. After a huge strike against the pension system and the coronavirus crisis, the cultural venue has to close again for renovations. Consequences? The Opéra Bastille will reopen on November 25, and the Palais Garnier house will not house performances until the end of 2020. Here is what you have to know.

Ballet and opera fans will have to be patient… Because of renovations, the Opéra Bastille and the Palais Garnier are currently closed to the public and performances will not resume before November 25th for the first one and the end of 2020 for the other one. These works were said to start in the summer 2021 but because of the current context and the very complicated health constraints to implement, these renovations have been brought forward.

A situation that puts the Opera de Paris in an even more difficult position, that has been impacted from late 2019 by a historic strike against the pension system, and then by the coronavirus crisis. All in all, in 2020, over 200 performances have been cancelled at the Garnier and Bastille opera houses.

Another change to come? The director of this cultural institution, Stéphane Lissner, announced in June he will leave at the end of 2020, as his mandate was to finish first in the summer 2021. German Alexander Neef, running the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto will step in.

We recently found out that subscriptions decreased by 35 to 40%. According to France Culture, the Opéra de Paris will end the year 2020 with a major loss around 45 million euros, including 40 million euro-loss because of the health crisis.

So, to avoid the worst, the Opéra de Paris will have to adapt and find alternatives to these renovations. Therefore, the Palais Garnier intends to set up by September 19 a special program with concerts. Then, from October 4, 20 ballet performances and 20 contemporary shows are planned. Yet, the Opéra Bastille will remain closed until mid-November 2020.

Facing this never-seen-before crisis at the Opéra de Paris, director Stéphane Lissner shared several leads possible with the committee entrusted with culture at the Senate in mid-July. Among the leads, possible, putting an upper limit to tickets up to over a hundred euros, which is half of the current rate, and a first price around twenty euros. And developing online shows – like during lockdown – could be another lead considered.

Practical information

Location

8 Rue Scribe
75009 Paris 9

Access
Métro ligne 3, 7 ou 8 station "Opéra", RER A station "Auber"

Official website
www.operadeparis.fr

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