The Opera de Paris is the primary opera and ballet company of France.
Founded in 1669 by Louis XIV as the Académie d’Opéra or Opéra, it was shortly after placed under the leadership of Jean-Baptiste Lully and officially renamed the Académie Royale de Musique. Classical ballet as it is known today arose within the Paris Opera as the Paris Opera Ballet and has remained an integral and important part of the company. Currently called the Opéra National de Paris, it mainly produces operas at its modern 2700-seat theatre Opéra Bastille which opened in 1989, and ballets and some classical operas at the older 1970-seat Palais Garnier which opened in 1875.
Created by the architect Charles Garnier in 1875, the Palais Garnier houses a prestigious auditorium and public areas (grand foyer, rotonde des abonnés, salons), a museum-library, as well as several rehearsal studios and workshops. The “Italian-style” auditorium, with its ceiling painted in 1964 by Marc Chagall, can accommodate 2054 spectators. With nearly 480,000 visitors each year, it is one of Paris’ most visited monuments. It has been listed as a historical monument since 1923.
Inaugurated in 1989, the modern Opéra Bastille, designed by Carlos Ott, houses a main auditorium with 2745 seats, a 500-seat amphitheatre, a 230-seat studio theatre, set and costumes workshops and offices. Small scale and contemporary works are also staged in it.