Until July 11, 2024
Place de la Bastille, 75012 Paris
Capacity 2700 seats
3 h 40 min
For all audiences
In French with English and French surtitles
Highlights: La Vestale
Vestals, priests, commoners, matrons, young women, senators, consuls, lictors, warriors, gladiators, dancers, children, prisoners... this is the small yet colourful world of Gasparo Spontini's three-act opera, created in 1807 at the Paris’ very own opera. Featuring a slew of then-topical political allusions to Napoleon, this piece embodied the spirit of the Empire, and proved itself to be a veritable success from its conception.
This season, the Opéra Bastille invites you to rediscvoer La Vestale as performed in its original French, after its departure from the stage of the Paris Opéra over 150 years ago. For this very special occasion, the Paris Opéra has called upon the immense talents of the American director Lyrdia Steier, who presents our titular Vestal - a woman torn between religious extremism and a profound and passionate love. Michael Spyres takes on the admirable role of her forbidden love and Roman general, Licinius, whereas Julia, our heroine, is embodied by the superb soprano Elza van den Heever. To round off this exquisite cast, Éve-Maud Hubeaux utters incantations as the impressive Great Vestal.
La Vestale promises good omens and an even better performance…
See details for our premium option below!
Story: La Vestale
Spontini's opera La Vestale tells the scandalous story of the vestal Julia, a priestess of Vesta, the Roman goddess of home and family. Sworn to chastity, this opera navigates Julia’s turmoil as conflicts arise between love and duty, passion and religion.
Act I begins with a traditional Roman ceremony, wherein the devoted vestals must light the sacred fire of Vesta. It is during this ceremony that Julia is chosen as the new vestal virgin – a turn of events that proves to be both a blessing and a curse for our young protagonist. She is already in love with Licinius, a Roman soldier, but their relationship is forbidden due to the vow of chastity she has taken as a vestal. However, Licinius cannot bring himself to lose Julia, and tries to convince her to meet him in secret.
In Act II, Licinius manages to break into the temple of Vesta and meets with Julia in secret. They express their love for each other, but are discovered by Cinna, a military tribune and Licinius' rival. Cinna promises to keep their secret, but only if he can get Julia for himself. Julia refuses and, caught between her love for Licinius and her duty to Vesta, she decides to remain true to her vocation as a vestal virgin.
As for Act III… we encourage you to discover it for yourself! Go to the Opéra Bastille to find out the end of the story, and what becomes of this sordid love triangle. La Vestale explores the themes of individual freedom, love, and the friction between religious devotion and human desires. The emphasis is placed on the tensions between a moral obedience to the laws of society and the pursuit of personal happiness. If you are searching an intense and emotional musical experience - this is your chance…
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 offers at the time of booking:
Champagne + Programme + Exclusive Access to Salon Berlioz + Show
Indulge in the premium opera experience! Elevate your evening with our exclusive package, available even after standard ticket sales have closed. With this premium option, relish a glass of champagne, receive a show program, and enjoy privileged access to the Opéra Bastille's opulent Salon Berlioz—an intimate space reserved for our premium guests.
Please note, this special package is exclusively offered through the Theatre in Paris box office, thanks to our official partnership with the Friends of Paris Opera Association. Don't miss the chance to make your opera night truly exceptional.
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 neighbourhood 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
How do I get to Opéra Bastille in the 12th arrondissement of Paris?
The Opéra Bastille is accessible by: Metro lines: The Opéra Bastille is accessible by the Metro lines 1, 5, and 8, which run until the Metro station Bastille. RER lines: The Opéra Bastille is accessible by the RER lines A and D, which run until the RER station Gare de Lyon. Bus lines: The Opéra Bastille is accessible by the bus lines 29, 87, 91, 76, and 86, which run until the following stations: Bastille, Bastille - Faubourg Saint-Antoine. Our hotline can be reached in case of difficulty finding the theatre from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Paris time. For details, we invite you to consult the map above.
What do I do when I get to Opéra Bastille?
How long does the opera, La Vestale, last?
Can I take photos during the performance of La Vestale?
Is La Vestale for an international audience or French speakers?
Where will I be seated, and will I see the surtitles properly?
Subtitles or “surtitles”?
Does the Opéra Bastille have a specific dress code?
There is no specific dress code, but proper attire is appreciated. Many Parisians will arrive directly from work, dressed in business casual or chic attire. For Parisian operas and ballets, the dress code tends to be a bit fancier than in other venues, so feel free to have a little fun and dress to impress. Generally, elegant casual wear is required, and jackets are recommended for men. Shorts, bermuda shorts, flip-flops, sportswear and trainers are discouraged.
Is there a coat check available at the Opéra Bastille?
Is tipping customary at Opéra Bastille in Paris?
At the Opéra Bastille, it is customary not to tip ushers.
If I'm late, will I still be allowed into the show?
The theatre doors are closed as soon as the curtain rises. Theatre doors close 15 minutes after the start of the performance and reopen at intermission if the performance includes one.
If you arrive within 15 minutes after the start of the performance, you will not be allowed to enter the theatre and will be directed to an area with a television where you can watch the first part of the show. You will be able to return to your seats during the intermission if the performance includes one.
What is included with my Premium ticket for La Vestale?
If I purchased Premium tickets, where can I collect my programme and my glass of champagne?
At the Opéra Bastille, you may pick up your programme in the main shop as well as at the programme stands located at the main entrance, 2nd floor, and 4th floor. 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 Opéra Bastille. It is accessible by elevator or by stairs.
I bought Premium tickets for La Vestale and I haven’t received them yet. Is this normal?
Yes, it’s completely normal! As the Premium tickets for La Vestale include exclusive add-ons, your order will first be created as a pre-booking so that the Opéra de Paris can assign your seats and prepare your exclusive package. You may see a pre-charge on your card, but you can rest assured that we will not charge your card until the booking is validated by the Opéra de Paris. After the tickets are validated, you will receive your tickets by email. Given the large number of requests the Opéra de Paris has to manage, this process usually takes two days, but can take up to six days maximum. If your order has not been validated after six days, it will be cancelled, the pre-charge will disappear, and you will not be charged.
How do I know if my seats are next to each other?
Tickets of the same category that are booked during the same purchase session in the same booking order on our website are always assigned side by side. To be sure of this, make sure all of your tickets are in the same category and are included in your shopping cart at the time of purchase.
At the Paris Opera, the seats are assigned in odd numbers or even numbers. Therefore, if your tickets are consecutive odd numbers or even numbers (For example: 1, 3, 5,...), they will be adjacent.
If there are no available adjacent seating arrangements, our customer service team will contact you before the booking is confirmed.