Armide at the Opéra Comique
Until November 28, 2022
Place Boieldieu - 75002 Paris
Capacity 1200 seats
For all audiences
In French subtitled in French and English
In 1775, Christoph Willibald Gluck chose Lully's beautiful and famous French opera Armide, based on a libretto by Philippe Quinault and Tasso, to demonstrate his delicately wielded skills in music and above all, opera. He took up all the traditions of grand opera with newer technologies that made the staging effects spectacular and included interludes and ballets to enhance the action! In this version of Armide, Gluck skillfully used pieces from his earlier operas such as Paride ed Elena, Arsace, and Telemacco, nell'isola di Circè. Even Marie-Antoinette herself saw the triumph of her protégé live!
The opera Armide, drawing heavily from Lully's version, is undoubtedly a striking opera by the great German composer Christoph Willibald Gluck that will prove that one does not need to come from a musical family to be remembered as one of the greats. An absolute reformer of opera, Gluck strove to emphasize dramatic expression without neglecting the beauty and importance of the voice. The fabulous and bewitching story of Armide plunges us into a marvelous Orient and draws us into a love story with many twists and turns between Queen Armide and the valiant Renaud. What could be more intense than the voice of the beautiful French soprano Véronique Gens to sublimate the passions and embody the bewitching Armide?
History and Fun Facts about the Opéra Comique
If you take a walk in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, you will be delighted to discover in the small, quaint Place Boieldieu, a superb building of beautiful proportions topped by six caryatids: the Opéra Comique, a theatre house in Paris, which celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2015. You will be surprised to learn that this gold and red auditorium, also known as Salle Favart, is considered the first modern theatre in France because it was the first to be designed with fully electric equipment for both public and stage lighting.
That doesn’t rest as the only surprise… Despite its name, the Opéra Comique doesn’t only perform comic operas, a particular kind of musical show that mixes sung arias with spoken theatre (the ancestor of the musical), but a wide range of operas as well! It was in this venue that works that are now internationally known were created, such as Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust, Delibes's Lakmé, Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande... but also Massenet's Manon and Bizet's Carmen! This hall has welcomed the finest composers and never ceased to welcome works from the contemporary repertoire. Viva la musica! Viva l'opera!
Fast facts Capacity: 1,200 seats Handicap Accessible: Yes Air conditioning: No Chauffage: Yes