Breaking The Waves

Opéra Comique

Show ended

English surtitled in French (See the page)


Opéra Comique
Place Boieldieu - 75002 Paris
Capacity 1200 seats


2h 45min

With intermission



Recommended for ages 10 and up

In English surtitled in French and English

Highlights: Breaking The Waves

This may surprise you but… did you know the film Breaking the Waves by Lars von Trier, which received the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival in 1996, has been turned into an opera? Maybe winning the International Opera Award for Best World Premiere in 2017 seems like quite a stretch too but this incredible three-act opera, written by librettist Royce Vavrek and composer Missy Mazzoli did exactly that! Breaking the Waves, which premiered at the Philadelphia Opera in 2016, has indeed achieved this double-win, and is now being performed for the first time on a Parisian stage – and at the Opéra Comique, nonetheless!

Story: Breaking The Waves

It is hard not to be captivated by the intricate story of Bess, a young woman living in a strict Calvinist community in the north of Scotland, and Jan, who works on an oil rig. When Jan escapes an accident and is paralyzed, Bess' faith and love lead her into a sacrifice that goes against her own religious morality, even to the point of voluntary prostitution and increasingly unhealthy relationships. Breaking the Waves is a naturalistic, intense parable with powerfully evocative music. Come and discover this opera reimagined in a contemporary light on the stage of the Opéra Comique.


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Opéra Comique

Place Boieldieu - 75002 Paris

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: 1200
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Air conditioning: No
Heating: Yes
Coat Check: Yes (free service)


How do I get to the Opéra Comique?

The Opéra Comique is accessible by:
Metro lines: You can take line 8 and 9 to Richelieu - Drouot, line 3 to Quatre-Septembre, or the RER A to Auber.
Bus lines: You can take the bus to the Richelieu - Drouot stop served by the lines 20, 32, 39, 29, 45, 74, and 89.
Our customer service can be reached in case of difficulty from 10 am to 7 pm, Monday to Friday. For more information, please consult the map above.

What do I do when I get to the Opéra Comique?

We invite you to arrive 45 minutes before the beginning of Breaking the Waves, and present your voucher at the front desk. The Opéra Comique’s English-speaking staff members will guide you to your seats.

What does my ticket entitle me to?

With the purchase of a ticket, you can attend a presentation that will give you access to the "keys to the show" and the possibility of singing in the rotunda under the direction of a professional conductor. This presentation takes place 35 minutes before Breaking the Waves.

Is Breaking the Waves a show for travelers or French people?

Both! The Opéra Comique has been welcoming audiences from all over the world for 300 years. The opera, Breaking the Waves, is sung in its original French, and subtitles in both French and English are provided so that audiences can appreciate it in one of France’s most iconic venues.

Is there a specific dress code at the Opéra Comique?

No, there is no specific dress code at the Opéra Comique, however, proper attire is always appreciated.

What to do if I am late?

The doors are closed as soon as the curtain rises. Access may be refused or subject to certain conditions.

Can I take photos during Breaking the Waves?

In order not to disturb the artists on stage, and for the comfort of other guests, you are not permitted to photograph, film, or record the performance for the duration of Breaking the Waves. As long as the performance is not currently in session, feel free to take a snapshot of the Opéra Comique to remember your night out!

Is tipping customary at the Opéra Comique?

Ushers at the Opéra Comique do not accept tips.

Subtitles or “surtitles”?

Surtitles (also called supertitles) are the theatre equivalent of subtitles. That’s because in French “sur” means “above”. At the Opéra Comique, the text is projected both on the sides of the auditorium, and centrally directly above the stage.

Is there a coat room at the Opéra Comique?

A free cloakroom is available in the entrance hall of the theatre. The Opéra Comique does not accept means of transport such as skates or folding bikes. For security reasons, travel bags and suitcases are not allowed.