Carmen at the Opéra Comique

Opéra Comique

Until May 4, 2023

In French surtitled in French & English


Opéra Comique
Place Boieldieu - 75002 Paris
Capacity 1200 seats


3 hours

With intermission



For all audiences

In French surtitled in French and English

Highlights: Carmen at the Opéra Comique

Can you guess who we are describing? She lives in Seville. She is a cigar maker who does not hold back from fighting with her fellow workers. She is in love with a dark and handsome brigadier. She hears the song "Avec la garde montante" and sings "L'Amour est un oiseau rebelle" with such great pride... Maybe she sounds familiar? It is, of course, Carmen, the beautiful heroine of Bizet's comic opera in four acts, with a libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on Prosper Mérimée's novella. Carmen is back at the Opéra Comique, the very place where this opera, now one of the most performed in the world, was first breathed life into. The beautiful Carmen we know and love is home and it is the sublime Gaëlle Arquez, the rising French mezzo-soprano, who embodies this famous operatic figure.

Story: Carmen at the Opéra Comique

“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 of Carmen. 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 Carmen 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 colorful music alternating dramatic and light passages with scientific precision. Viva la Carmencita. Olé!


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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: 1,200 seats
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Air conditioning: No
Chauffage: Yes


How do I get to the Opéra Comique?

The Opéra Comique is accessible by metro lines 3, 7, 8, and 9 and the nearest stations are Opéra, Quatre Septembre, or Grands Boulevards. The Opéra Comique is also accessible by the RER A at the station Auber or by bus lines 20, 32, 39, 29, 45, 74, and 89. Our customer service department can be contacted 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 Carmen, and present your ticket 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 Carmen.

Is Carmen a show for travelers or French people?

Both! The Opéra Comique has been welcoming audiences from all over the world for 300 years. This legendary opera, Carmen, is sung in its original French, and subtitles in both French and English are provided for audiences so that they 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 should I 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 the performance of Carmen?

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 Carmen. 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 theatrical equivalent of subtitles. That’s because in French the word “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 theater. The Opéra Comique does not accept means of transport such as scooters, skateboards, or folding bikes. For security reasons, travel bags and suitcases are not allowed.

Covid-19 Information

Specific measures and obligations may apply to this show. Before making your reservation, please check the updated information on our Covid-19 page: