The Paris Opera is one of the world's greatest opera and ballet houses. Founded more than three centuries ago by Louis XIV, it possesses two theatres, the Palais Garnier (1875) and the Opéra Bastille (1989). Its mission is to preserve and develop our operatic and ballet heritage and it gives more than 350 performances per year. Great composers such as Rameau, Gluck, Rossini, Verdi, Wagner, Gounod, Massenet, Poulenc and Messiaen all gave the first performances of their works here. The ballet company, rich in historical tradition, performs all around the world. Over the years it has played host to the greatest choreographers: George Balanchine, Serge Lifar, Rudolf Nureyev, Roland Petit, Maurice Béjart, and of course Pina Bausch.