Handel's Messiah

Royal Chapel of Versailles

Show ended

English surtitled in French (See the page)


Royal Chapel of Versailles
1 Place Léon Gambetta, 78000 Versailles
Capacity 800 seats


2h 40min

With intermission



For all audiences

In English surtitled in French

Highlights: Handel's Messiah

What is an oratorio? An oratorio is a dramatic lyrical work performed without scenery or costumes on a religious subject (such as episodes from the Bible or the Gospels, from the life of Christ, or the Messiah) with soloists, a chorus, and an orchestra. The pinnacle of this art form is Handel's Messiah, which is both the most emblematic example of the oratorio genre and Handel's most famous work. It is presented here in the Royal Chapel of Versailles, a magnificent setting for the soprano's aria "I know that my redeemer liveth" and the chorus of the famous "Allelujah."



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Story: Handel's Messiah

It took Handel only 24 days to create The Messiah. Written in 1741 to a Bible-inspired libretto by Charles Jennens, this oratorio has survived the centuries and become the perfect model of the oratorio genre. Under the gilt and vaulted ceilings of the Royal Chapel of Versailles, it is a unique opportunity to see the Chamber Choir of the Palace of Catalan Music of Barcelona, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera, and the brilliant soprano Marie Lys under the direction of Franco Fagioli. It’s a true delight for the eyes and the ears! After the concert, you’re sure to be caught humming "Rejoice greatly," "He trusted in God," "He was despised," and "Hallelujah."



Premium experience & option

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Champagne + Programme + Show

This offer includes a glass of champagne and a printed programme, as well as exclusive access to the best two seating categories.


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Royal Chapel of Versailles

1 Place Léon Gambetta, 78000 Versailles

The Royal Chapel of Versailles

If buildings could talk, what would they say? Certainly, the Royal Chapel of Versailles could tell a tale or two! After all, it was the venue for the marriage between the last king and queen of France: Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The chapel’s construction was completed in 1710 during the reign of Louis XVI’s great-great-great-grandfather, Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King. It was the fifth and final chapel to be built at the Palace of Versailles, and it was consecrated to Saint Louis, the patron saint of the king, as well as one of the king’s ancestors.

The architecture itself references this lineage, through several similarities with the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, which Saint Louis had founded, as well as in the emblazoned double-L motif on the altar symbolizing the saint, and the Sun King together. The vaulted ceiling of the Royal Chapel of Versailles was constructed by Hardouin-Mansart, without the use of transvers ribs, in order to create a vast, uninterrupted depiction of the Holy Trinity, above the heads of the congregation. For decades, this painting would look down on the French Royal Family as they took their daily mass, an event which became renowned across Europe for its use of music, played on a huge organ designed by Cliquot.

The Royal Chapel of Versailles also incorporates classical-inspired designs in its impressive colonnades, which we have come to associate with the Neoclassical boom of the 18th century, however, the chapel’s construction was completed long before the movement really came to prominence, showing that its architects were truly ahead of their time. Since the chapel’s deconsecration in the 19th century, it has become a go-to venue for classical concerts, and so it should be, having been the epicenter of European music in centuries gone by. What better place to experience the history of music!

Fast facts
Capacity: 800
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Air conditioning: No
Heating: Yes
Coat Check: Yes (free service)


How do I get to the Royal Chapel of Versailles?

You may access the Royal Chapel of Versailles by RER C at Versailles Château Rive Gauche station, by using lines N and U of the Transilien at Versailles Chantiers station and also by line L at Versailles Rive Droite station. The Royal Chapel of Versailles is also accessible by bus line 171. The chapel is located on the grounds of the castle. Access is via Door B (on the right in the cour d’honneur, near the Royal Chapel). For more information, please see the map above. In case of any difficulty, you may contact our customer service on weekdays from 10 am to 7 pm.

What do I do when I get to the Royal Chapel of Versailles?

We recommend that you arrive at least 20 minutes before the start of Messiah. Show your ticket at the reception and the staff will take care of you.

Can I take photos during Handel’s Messiah?

In order not to disturb the artists and for the comfort of other spectators, it is forbidden to take pictures during Handel’s Messiah. However, you can take photos of the Royal Chapel before and after the performance to remember your gorgeous Parisian evening!

How long does Handel’s Messiah last?

Handel’s Messiah lasts around 2 hours and 40 minutes, with an intermission.

Is tipping customary?

Each spectator is greeted in the hall by an usher who will lead them to the seat. According to custom at the Royal Chapel of Versailles, ushers may request a tip which you may grant if you wish. It is by no means mandatory.