Until February 25, 2023
Place de la Bastille, 75012 Paris
Capacity 2700 seats
In French with English subtitles
Opera in four acts by Georges Bizet, to a libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, after Prosper Mérimée, musical direction by Fabien Gabel, staging by Calixto Bieito, with Michael Spyres or Joseph Calleja (Don José), Lucas Maechem or Etienne Dupuis (Escamillo), Marc Labonnette (Le Dancaïre), Loïc Félix (Le Remendado), Guilhem Worms (Zuniga), Tomasz Kumiega (Moralès), Gaëlle Arquez or Clémentine Margaine (Carmen), Golda Schultz, Adriana Gonzalez or Nicole Because (Micaëla), Andrea Cueva Molnar (Frasquita), Adèle Charvet (Mercédès).
First performed in Paris in 1875, Carmen has become a world-renowned opera, where the notions of love, anger, and most of all, freedom come to life in the small Spanish town of Seville.
To make your experience an unforgettable one, you will be able to choose an exclusive add-on upon booking. See more details below.
“Carmen will never surrender, born free, free will she die!” cries Bizet’s heroine to Don José at the end of the opera. This irrepressible freedom, coupled with a need to live ever-more intensely, is strongly present in this production directed by Calixto Bieito. With Mérimée, Bieito retains the burning temperament of a woman who lives by small-time trafficking. A test for the ages in this timeless piece, the rebel bird is essentially a creature of our own times; a brazen and indomitable seductress and a product of social and masculine brutality, she lives life in the fast lane, avid for existence.
A violent passion, crushed by the Spanish sun: upon this framework based on the work by Prosper Mérimé, Georges Bizet writes expressive, elegant and colourful music alternating dramatic and light passages with scientific precision.
Add-On & Special Experience
Looking for more than a standard ticket to the show? To make your experience an unforgettable one, you will be able to choose this following upgraded offer at the time of booking:
Champagne + Programme + Exclusive Access to Salon Berlioz + Show
This package is available even after standard sales for the opera are closed. It includes a glass of champagne, a show programme, and exclusive access to the Opéra Bastille's beautiful Salon Berlioz, reserved for primary ticket holders. As a result of our official partnership with the Friends of Paris Opera Association, the package can only be purchased via the Theatre in Paris box office.
History and Fun Facts about the Opéra Bastille
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 neighborhood 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 completed just in time for the bicentenary 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 gray 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.
Fast facts Capacity: 2745 Handicap Accessible: Yes - in order to guarantee access to specific locations, we ask that you make your reservation at least 15 days before the performance. Air conditioning: Yes Heating: Yes
Where will I be seated and will I see the subtitles properly?
There are a maximum of four categories available, each of which provides a comfortable view of the subtitles. The subtitles are projected above and on the sides of the stage.
How do I get to the theatre?
The Opera 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 theatre?
We invite you to arrive 20 minutes before the beginning of Carmen 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.
How long does the show last?
Carmen lasts three hours, including one intermission.
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 performance is sung in its original French, and subtitles in both French and English are provided for audiences to appreciate in one of France’s most iconic venues.
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.
Does the venue 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, jackets are recommended for men. Shorts, Bermuda shorts, flip-flops, sportswear and trainers are discouraged.
Is there a coat check available?
Free cloakrooms are available on various floors of the theatre. Travel bags and suitcase are not allowed.
Can I take photos of the performance?
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 the show. As long as the performance is not currently in session, feel free to take a snapshot of the wonderful venue to remember your night out!
What is included with my Premium ticket?
As the premium tickets are our most exclusive package, these tickets include seating in category Optima, the best in the house, a programme of the show, a glass of champagne, and exclusive access to the magnificent Salon Berlioz.
If I purchased Premium tickets, where can I collect my program and my glass of champagne?
At the Opéra Bastille, you may pick your program in the main shop as well as at the program stands located at the main entrance, on the 2nd and 4th floors. You can choose to enjoy your glass of champagne before the performance or during intermission. Champagne will be available at public bars or in the exclusive Salon Berlioz. The Salon is located on the first floor, at the right of the entrance to the Opera House. It is accessible by elevator or by stairs.