A modern opera house which serves as the main facility of the Paris National Opera, the Opera Bastille is home to some of the most iconic opera and ballet performances in the world. The 2,700 seat performance venue is renowned for hosting grand opera productions which are stunning in their magnificence and scale. Development of a modern opera house in Paris began in the 1880s, years after the opening of the Palais Garnier. While the Palais Garnier was perfect for smaller production, the grandeur of opera was hard to mount in the venue. After almost no development for almost a century, talk of a new opera house in Paris began again in 1965 by stage director Jean Villar. In 1981, President Francois Mitterrand included a new opera house in his monument building program, Grands Travaux. Construction work officially began in 1984 and the Opera Bastille was inaugurated in 1989.
On first glance, the venue doesn't look like an opera house due to the modern sensibilities on display with griddled walls of glass and a subdued colour pallet to blend in better with the general landscape of the area. Apart from the main auditorium, the Opera Bastille is also home to a 500 seat amphitheatre, a 230 seat studio theatre, set and costumes workshops and offices. If you're planning a trip to this iconic opera house for a performance or just to take the tour, our Opera Bastille seating chart guide has all the information you need.
Total Capacity: The Palais Garnier houses 1979 seats in total.
Best Seats in the Theatre: Opt for the middle seats in rows D to H of the stalls section if you're looking for a great view of the stage. The middle seats of the first two rows of the circle section are also considered premium since they are not obstructed and offer a clean view of the stage.
Best Value for Money Seats: If you don't wish to overspend on tickets, opt for the value-for-money seats located in the corner of the middle rows in the stalls. The middle row seats of the circle are also great since the view offered is pretty decent for the price that is charged for them.
Navigating The Opera Bastille Seating Chart
Of the two venues that serve as the home of Paris National Opera, Opera Bastille is much bigger with a total seating capacity of 2,745. The auditorium is organised in an arena format with two massive balconies at the back and four galleries on either side. Here's a look at each of these sections in detail.
Opera Bastille Parterre
The only non-elevated seating section in the house, parterre has a massive block of seats divided into different subsections and separated by aisles. The view offered from the seats dips in quality as you move further back towards the rear rows, but the first block of seats in this section offer truly spectacular views of the stage.
Opera Bastille Balcony
There are two balconies in the Opera Bastille with five blocks which are separated by aisles. The front couple of rows of the middle three seating blocks in the first balcony offer exceptional views of the stage. The last couple of rows of the second balcony provide decent views of the stage and are amongst the cheapest seats in the venue.
Opera Bastille Gallery
There are eight galleries, four on either side of the theatre. All the galleries are of varying lengths and the left side galleries are odd numbered while the right side galleries are even numbered. The view offered from seats in the galleries is nothing to write home about but it won't hamper your opera viewing experience as well.
Shows Playing at Opera Bastille - Tickets
Damiano Michieletto’s production smoothly switches between realism and fantasy to tell the story of Count Almaviva, who has fallen madly in love with Rosina, and the schemes he plans with his barber Figaro to win her over. With rhythmic power, spiraling crescendos, absurd ensembles, and highlights such as Figaro’s tongue-twister aria, this classic opera is a masterpiece of comedy.
The staging of this new production has been entrusted to director Claus Guth who sets the mood in the future, millions of light-years away, in a space that is devoid of love and hope. The story of the four Bohemians on a space expedition that becomes increasingly hopeless with little chance for survival, is narrated by Rodolfo. A heartbreaking love story with moving music, this opera is a must-watch.
Which Seats Offer the Best View
Your opera experience depends majorly on where you're seated. If money is not a restriction, there are a lot of premium seats to choose from in the Opera Bastille. In the parterre section, the block of seats immediately opposite the stage are considered premium. Moving up, seats in the first few rows of the first balcony also offer unobstructed views of the stage and given their height, a great vantage point.
Which Seats Offer the Best Value for Money
Opera tickets, especially for popular shows, can be pretty expensive and are not an option for everyone, especially tourists who have other expenses to worry about. There's a great alternative in value for money seats which don't cost a lot and offer pretty decent views of the stage. In the parterre section, the rear seats are value for money. In the first balcony, the middle row seats, and in the second balcony, the front row seats are value for money.
Opera Bastille Seating Chart | Practical Information
Accessibility: The Opera Bastille is accessible for wheelchair users through the main entrance. For patrons with reduced mobility, certain sections in the stalls will be reserved.
Cloakroom: Free of charge restrooms are available on various floors of the Opera Bastille. Please note that travel bags and suitcases are not allowed inside the venue.
Restaurants : Bars offering light refreshments and drinks are available in the public areas of the Opera Bastille 45 minutes before the start of each performance and during the interval.
Opera Bastille Seating Chart | Handy Tips
- To avoid missing any part of the show, we would recommend that you arrive at the Opera Bastille at least 15 minutes before the start of your performance. There are mini-concerts and lectures before some performances and you can catch these if you arrive before time.
- Guided tours of the Opera Bastille are available for patrons. During these tours, you'll be able to explore the public foyers, auditorium and backstage. Tickets for these tours are available 10 minutes before the tour begins at the Opera Bastille box office.
- If you're looking for discounted tickets, watch out for the unsold rush line tickets available for performances on the day of your tour. Additionally, a limited number of standing room only seats are also made available.
- The Opera Bastille is equipped with a surtitling systems in English and French.
- A lot of popular operas and ballets are mounted at the Opera Bastille and tickets tend to sell out pretty fast. Book your Opera Bastille tickets online to ensure that you don't end up with a sold out situation on the day of the performance.
- There is no prescribed dress code you need to follow while attending a performance at the Opera Bastille but your dressing is supposed to be suitable for a formal event. If you're attending a gala event, men can wear a dark suit and ladies can opt for a dress.
- If you're booking your tickets last minute and don't have a lot of seats to choose from, don't fret. The Opera Bastille is designed in a way which allows for every seat to offer an unobstructed view of the stage.
Restaurants Near Opera Bastille
1. Chez Papa Bastille: Discover the best of South-West cuisine at this festive and warm restaurant with both indoor and terrace seating.
2. Bofinger: Experience authentic Alsatian food including Baeckeoffe fish, Kouglof way French toast, souffle Grand Marnier in an exceptional historical setting.
3. Les Grandes Marches: Visit this stylish, brightly lit brasserie for exceptional traditional French cuisine in an elegant, cosy decor.
4. Frog Revolution: Part pub, part lounge, Frog Revolution is known for its home brewed craft beer available on 24 taps as well as a delicious American BBQ menu!
5. Ben's Bastille: This casual and cozy eatery offers a wide variety of burgers, bagels, fish and chips, which are always accompanied by fries.
Opera Bastille is located at Place de la Bastille 75012 and is very easily accessible through a variety of public transport options. Here are your options:
Metro: In metro lines 1, 5 and 8, de-board at the Bastille station or Gare de Lyon station in RER line to reach Opera Bastille.
Bus: Buses in routes 20, 29, 65, 69, 76, 86, 87 and 91 will drop you off at the Opera Bastille.
Car Park: You can park your car at Q-Park Opera Bastille, located in 34 rue de Lyon
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