Breaking The Waves
Until May 31, 2023
Place Boieldieu - 75002 Paris
Capacity 1200 seats
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.
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