1 place du Châtelet, 75001 Paris
Capacity : 2046 seats
3 hours 15 minutes
Suitable for all ages
English with French subtitles
One of Handel's most dramatic choral compositions, Saül brings to life the ancient biblical story of King Saul. Full of murderous plot twists and nail-biting crescendos, the oratorio offers a prolonged meditation on the destructive power of rage and envy. Brought to Paris' Théâtre du Châtelet by Australian director Barrie Kosky, this exciting modern production premiered at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival in 2015. Critics were blown away by the show's audacity and innovation.
Taken from the biblical Book of Samuel, Handel's oratorio tells the tale of King Saul of Israel. When David returns from slaying his adversary, the giant Goliath, Saul is infuriated by the zealous praise heaped on him. Unable to restrain his anger, he orders his brokers to settle for David's murder. But this hasty decision, taken in a rage, will be brought to the King's own downfall.
Featuring Handel's famous 'Dead March' funeral anthem, Saul is one of the most frequently revised compositions. In his vivid new production, Kosky adds a splash of color and a daringly understated set to the 18th century piece.
Théâtre du Châtelet
It is hard to miss the grandiose building that is Théâtre du Châtelet, which towers above the busy Place du Châtelet, directly opposite its twin, Théâtre de la Ville. The larger of the two playhouses, with 2046 seats, Théâtre du Châtelet specialises in musical productions, whether that be musical theatre, dance, concerts, or opera. Its history stretches back 150 years, to the time of legendary city planner Baron Haussmann. Having destroyed another theatre during his renovations of Paris, Haussmann ordered that the Théâtre du Châtelet, then called the Cirque Imperial, be constructed as a replacement. Since then, the theatre has been home to a wide variety of genres. At the time of its 1862, its programme centred on military works and fairy plays. At one point the theatre was best known for its extended production of Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days, which spanned 64 years, 2,195 performances, and ended only with the Nazi occupation of Paris in 1940.
Since 1979, the theatre has been fully funded and operated by the City of Paris, during which time it has undergone two major renovations. The first saw the theatre become le Théâtre Musical de Paris, a specialisation which the theatre has kept if not the name. More recently the theatre’s focus has shifted away from classical music and opera and towards musical theatre, particularly Parisian reimaginations of Broadway musicals. American classics like Kiss Me, Kate, Singin’ in the Rain, and An American Paris have all made the bill. Surrounded by the bustling downtown neighbourhood that is Châtelet, a trip to this theatre makes evening out planning easy.
Handicap accessible? Yes, though we recommend contacting us with your requirements so we can ensure the best possible placement.
Air conditioning? Yes
Where will I be seated?
There are three seating categories available. The theater is an Italian style auditorium, meaning the seats are in a horse-shoe shape. Seats will be allocated by the theater in the corresponding section to your desired category.
How do I get to the theatre?
The theater is accessible by metro station Châtelet (Line 1, 4, 7, 11, 14) and Châtelet-Les Halles (RER Lines A, B, D). Our hotline can be reached in case of difficulty finding the theater on 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 15 minutes before the beginning of the show, and present your voucher at the front desk. The theater's English-speaking staff members will guide you to your seats.
Can I purchase a show programme?
Tickets for Saul do not include a program. Program in French is available at the theater.
How long does the show last?
The show lasts three hours and fifteen minutes with one intermission.
Does this theatre have disabled access?
This theater is completely accessible handicap, but we recommend to get in touch with our team here.
Is the show for travelers or French people?
Both! Composed in London to an English libretto, this oratorio is a favorite with classical music lovers all around the world. Performed entirely in English, French subtitles are provided to ensure local audience members can enjoy the piece as well.