Bluebeard’s Castle Concert Opera
Until June 10, 2023
Place de la Bastille, 75012 Paris
Capacity 2700 seats
For all ages
In Hungarian surtitled in French and English
How far are you prepared to go to get to know the person you live with? This is the question posed by the superb opera, Bluebeard’s Castle by Bela Bartok played by the magnificent Orquestra Simfònica del Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona under the direction of Josep Pons. Judith, the heroine, goes from surprise to surprise as she opens all the castle doors and we discover with her what kind of man Bluebeard truly is. A magnificent piece of music and furthermore a psychoanalytical work for the grandiose stage of the Opéra Bastille.
An impressive work by the great Hungarian composer Bela Bartok and one of the most beautiful shows to see in Paris! It plunges us into the depths of the character, Bluebeard. Through the storyline and the opening of seven doors, will this be enough to help us discover who he truly is? The first door is placed under the lustrous light of the color red, the second under the color bronze. What secrets of Bluebeard hide behind these colors? When the third door is opened, the color gold appears, radiant as ever. Then suddenly, a bluish light comes through the door that once hid the inconspicuous garden. Prepare to be startled at the opening of the fifth door, bring a tissue for the sixth door, and finally, we leave you and your imagination to discover what the seventh door hides. It is without a doubt that you will be surprised countless times by the secrets that hide in the layers of Bluebeard’s castle. A profound reflection on human solitude, underpinned by music that sounds like diamonds on velvet. There are no words to describe the orchestral splendour of this opera. The Opéra Bastille invites the splendid and expressive Irene Theorin to play the role of Judith and the impressive Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel to play the role of Bluebeard.
Designed by Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott, the building was commissioned by French President François Mitterrand and inaugurated in 1989. For years many had lamented the lack of a modern venue in Paris capable of welcoming modern concerts and performances with different acoustic approaches, and the flexibility that a modulable venue lends. A movement started in the 1960s called for a larger new venue in Paris that would appeal to the masses, a modern compliment to the elaborate Palais Garnier. Just over 100 years after the inauguration of the Palais Garnier, the demands finally won over the newly-elected President Mitterrand, who supported the project as the headliner among many modern works launched during his term. Selecting the popular Bastille neighbourhood for its ease of accessibility from Paris and the surrounding areas, the old Bastille Train Station was destroyed to make way for the construction of the new venue. The building was complete just in time for the bicentary of the French Revolution.
The venue has undergone many changes in direction resulting from varying political affiliations, and has undergone major renovations since its construction to repair and to soundproof the entire structure. Unlike other auditorium designs, each and every seat at the Opéra Bastille guarantees an unrestricted view of the stage. With its white glass ceiling, crisp grey compliments, and black seating adorned with rich oak, the venue is an ode to modernity and simplistic design. From the exterior, made of blue granite from Brittany and blocks of glass, light is reflected from every corner of this angular venue.
Where will I be seated and will I see the subtitles properly?
There are a maximum of three categories available, each of which provides a comfortable view of the subtitles. The theatre is an Italian style auditorium, meaning the seats are in a horse-shoe shape. Theatre in Paris guests are centrally placed either in the orchestra, on the first level/mezzanine, or in the second, third, and fourth level lodge boxes to have an optimal view of the stage and subtitles.
How do I get to the Opéra Bastille?
The Opéra Bastille is accessible by the metro station Bastille (Lines 1, 5, and 8). Our hotline can be reached in case of difficulty finding the theatre weekdays from 10 am to 7pm Paris time. For details, we invite you to consult the map above.
What do I do when I get to the Opéra Bastille?
We invite you to arrive at the Opéra Bastille 20 minutes before the beginning of the show, and present your voucher at the front desk. The theatre's English-speaking staff members will guide you to your seats. Please note that the performances at the Opéra Bastille begin precisely on time, and all late arrivals will not be permitted to enter the auditorium until intermission.
Does the Opéra Bastille have a specific dress code?
For Parisian operas and ballets, the dress tends to be a bit fancier than in other venues, so feel free to have a little fun and dress to impress. Many Parisians will arrive directly from work, dressed in casual chic attire. Generally, elegant casual wear is required, and jackets are recommended for men. Shorts, Bermuda shorts, flip-flops, sportswear, and trainers are discouraged.
Is there a coat check available at the Opéra Bastille?
Free cloakrooms are available on various floors of the Opéra Bastille. Travel bags and suitcases are not allowed.
Subtitles or “surtitles”?
Surtitles (also called supertitles) are the theatre equivalent of subtitles. That’s because in French “sur” means “above”. At the Opéra Bastille, the text is projected both on the sides of the auditorium, and centrally directly above the stage. Read more about surtitles here.
Is it a show for travellers or French people?
Both! The Opéra Bastille has been welcoming audiences from all over the world for 30 years. This legendary opera, Bluebeard’s Castle, is performed in concert version and is sung in its original Hungarian with subtitles in both French and English are provided for audiences to appreciate in one of France's most iconic venues.