2,723 bastille, République, Nation PDF in total, with a main theatre, concert hall and studio theatre. The idea for a new « popular and modern » opera house in Paris first came up in the 1880s, only years after the opening of the palais Garnier.
Construction began in 1984 with the demolition of the gare de la Bastille train station, which had opened in 1859 and closed in 1969, and where art expositions had been held thereafter. In 1986, the new right-wing government led by Jacques Chirac considered canceling the project, but eventually decided it was too advanced and gave it the green light again. After heavy budget overruns, the final construction cost was at 2. The building was inaugurated by François Mitterrand on 13 July 1989, on the eve of the 200th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, in the presence of thirty-three foreign heads of state or heads of government.
The house, which was unfinished at the time of the official inauguration, did not see its first opera performance until 17 March 1990, with Hector Berlioz’ les Troyens, directed by Pier Luigi Pizzi. West façade of the opéra Bastille, on the rue de Lyon. The Opéra Bastille’s management and public perception were marred by various controversies and scandals in the house’s first decade and even before its opening. In 1987, conductor Daniel Barenboim, who had previously led the orchestre de Paris, was hired to become the house’s first Artistic Director, and began planning the first seasons. Chung was physically prevented from entering the building despite a judicial ruling in his favour. The building was as much a source of trouble as the internal conflicts. The Opéra Bastille was originally expected to become the company’s sole opera venue, with the palais Garnier turned into a ballet venue exclusively.
However, this strict split was abandoned in the 1990s when some operas were performed at the Palais Garnier and the company’s ballet also danced at the Bastille. Hugues Gall, who took over as the Paris National Opera’s Director in 1995, was originally an opponent of the Bastille conception, famously quipping that the new opera house was « the wrong answer to a problem that did not exist ». Detail view of the Place de la Bastille facade and external staircase. Patrons do not use the stairs, but enter through the street-level doors to the right.
The Opéra Bastille is located on the place de la Bastille. In order to make it « blend into » the landscape, the square was not remodeled to be aligned with it in a general parallel plan, but the left-hand side of the facade was left partly hidden behind an older and smaller building, which was expected to give the impression that the opera house had been part of the area for a very long time. Access to the entrance hall is directly from the square at street level. Although a monumental external staircase leading to the first-level foyer and a direct underground access from the Bastille subway station to the entrance hall were built, they were eventually closed. Due to its size, the auditorium is frequently—and unfavourably—called a « vessel », and, compared to other world-class opera houses, the acoustics have been described as disappointing at best. House right side of the first balcony, as seen from the back of the arena.