300 years old and as much fun as ever
The Opéra Comique in Paris turns 300 this year and leading lights of opera and theatre have been paying tribute to this much-loved venue
One of Paris’ oldest dramatic and musical institutions, it is also central to the origins of a typically French genre mixing theatre and sung passages. With an alternatively turbulent and prestigious history, it boasts a unique repertoire of productions by some of the greatest composers and performers of all time.
An amusing and sophisticated show recently recapped three centuries of its memorable history. It featured artists who have given to and received so much from the Opéra Comique. “For me the Opéra Comique is like my infant days as a singer, as the very beginning of my career took place here, where I got to know this wonderful staff. It was here that I learnt how to live in a theatre!” said French soprano Julie Fuchs.
“Here the management are very loyal to their artists. This is a place where the dressers are thoughtful enough not to ask in front of everyone if you’ve put on weight!” she joked.
Theatre’s General Director Jérôme Deschamps believes the venue is haunted, but in the best possible way, “You know, there are ghosts hunting this theatre, wonderful ghosts, everywhere. And when you hear these amazing voices you wonder whether they are not spirits echoing the huge talents who sang on this stage.”
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