One of Paris’ two primary opera houses and home to Opéra National de Paris, Opéra Bastille is renowned for its modern, cutting-edge looks. Designed by Canadian-Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott, and unveiled in 1989, the striking building has become one of the city’s most important cultural venues.
Located amidst the bustle of Place de la Bastille, the Opéra Bastille has been an important cultural landmark for upwards of three decades. Initially commissioned by François Mitterrand and designed by the then little-known architect Carlos Ott, the venue comprises a main auditorium of nearly 3,000 seats, as well as a smaller amphitheater and a studio theater.
The opera house is renowned for its modernist looks, including a partially transparent facade. It is the official home of Opéra National de Paris, and, in addition to its operatic offerings, also hosts ballet performances and other recitals. The Opéra Bastille can be glimpsed during hop-on hop-off bus tours of the city. Visitors can also book advance tickets to its many performances.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Opéra Bastille operates complimentary cloakrooms, though it does not accept luggage or large bags.
- On-site bars serve drinks and light refreshments during performances; place an order upon arriving at the theater to avoid waiting in long lines during intermissions.
- The theater is accessible to those with mobility issues and has a number of reserved seats for wheelchair users.
- Opera performances are surtitled in both English and French.
How to Get There
Opéra Bastille, at the Place de la Bastille, can be reached by numerous forms of transit. Take Métro lines 1, 5, and 8 to Bastille station; the Gare de Lyon, which is served by RER lines A and D as well as SNCF trains, is also located nearby. Bus lines 20, 29, 65, 69, 76, 86, 87, 91 stop in the area. You can also access the theater on foot and by rental bike, car, and taxi.
When to Get There
The Opéra Bastille is open for guided tours from Sept. 1–July 16, barring closures on Jan. 1 and May 1. It is closed for summer from July 17–Aug. 31. Its program of performances varies throughout the year, and it’s worth securing tickets prior to travel.
The Opéra Bastille offers discounted tickets for visitors under the age of 28 who have a Pass’Jeunes card; visitors with reduced mobility also receive discounted tickets. The Opéra Bastille additionally offers 32 standing places, which sell for a deep discount 90 minutes prior to performance times. Standby rates are also sometimes available.