Situated in the city centre, in the Terreaux neighbourhood, at the foot of the legendary “pentes de la Croix Rousse” and on the banks of the Rhône, the Opéra National de Lyon was renovated in 1993 by the architect Jean Nouvel.
The Opéra de Lyon’s activities are now spread out over 17 levels: a huge cylindrical glass roof, lit-up red in the evening, is supported by its 1831 façades. The auditorium is an immense black shell, suspended within the heart of the building. It is a fascinating journey, operatic – and balletic – festivities can now begin, based, like the building itself, on a dialogue between history and modernity.
Since 2003, Serge Dorny, previously the general and artistic director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, has been its general director. Under his direction, the Opéra de Lyon has renewed its tradition of innovation and openness: with innovative productions, a baroque repertory and a significant place for contemporary operas... The guest artists include some of the best – either emerging or confirmed – talents on the international scene.
The Opéra de Lyon is also a Ballet: a company which, over and above mastering a classic repertory and techniques, works with the greatest contemporary choreographers. The Ballet of the Opéra de Lyon also often goes on tour, across all five continents while, for example, making New York a home base.
As a city of exchanges and trade, Lyon now has an Opera House which is heavily invested in its city and region, while also resolutely reaching out to the international scene. This can be seen in its worldwide tours and the extremely prestigious prizes it has recently received, all awarded by international juries: the “Opera company of the Year 2017”, and the “2017 Opera House”, awarded by the influential German opera magazine “Opernwelt”.