Inaugurated in 1770 on the occasion of the marriage of the future Louis XVI to the young Marie-Antoinette, the Royal Opera of the Palace of Versailles is still today one of the most beautiful theaters in the world.
A baroque opera
The Baroque era is par excellence that of total art, where the shows played a major role: dance, music, theater, costumes, sets mingle in the most dazzling harmony. Despite this enthusiasm for the performing arts, the Court did not have a theater at the castle before the end of the reign of Louis XV. It was indeed the great-grandson of Louis XIV who decided on the construction and decoration of the Royal Opera of Versailles, designed as a hall for transformations, intended to be used both for shows and Court balls.
Inaugurated by a royal wedding
Work began in 1685, but it was not until Louis XV that Ange-Jacques Gabriel and Blaise Henri Arnoult – respectively the King’s first architect and the King’s first machinist – completed the construction of the Roayl opera of Versailles. On May 16, 1770, the Royal Opera was inaugurated for the wedding celebrations of the Dauphin, future King Louis XVI, and the Archduchess Marie-Antoinette. Restored from 1952 to 1957 by the architect André Japy, the hall then regained its exceptional quality, supplemented by the restoration of the decor of the Bal Paré. The development work intended to reinforce security and to provide new technical equipment for the stage has made it possible in recent years to discover that the machinery of 1770, which was famous in its time, still partly existed. Closed from June 2007 to September 2009, the Opera has benefited from major security work that today allows this magical place to be revived, entirely built of wood, which ensures wonderful acoustics.
More than 100 performances per season
An artistic and heritage gem Today, the Royal Opera, magnificently preserved from the ravages of time, hosts more than 100 performances per season, recitals, plays but also operas and ballets. Cecilia Bartoli, William Christie, the Monte-Carlo ballet, the Malandain Ballet de Biarritz, Sébastien Daucé, Vincent Dumestre, Angelin Preljocaj, François-Xavier Roth, Jordi Savall, Jean-Christophe Spinosi… all the biggest names and international performers succeed on this prestigious stage. A real feast for the eyes and ears!
Access and contacts Palace of Versailles 78000 Versailles 01 30 83 78 89 • https://www.chateauversailles-spectacles.fr/