The Opera of Lille is a theater of neoclassical architecture built from 1907 to 1913. It was however officially inaugurated in 1923.
It succeeded a theater built in 1785 which was devastated by a fire, the first shows dedicated in particular to lyrical art taking place in advance in a hall of the town hall.
The Opera of Lille experienced some financial difficulties in the aftermath of the Second World War then, from 1953 to 1978, the establishment regained significant influence under the direction of Maurice Cottinet (1953-1960) and Alexandre Vanderdonckt (1960-1978).
In 1979, the institution joined forces with the Ballet du Nord in Roubaix and the lyric workshop in Tourcoing to form the Opéra du Nord. The management is entrusted to Élie Delfosse. Many shows are played and the number of subscribers increases from 700 to 3000 in 3 years. Unfortunately, new financial difficulties arose and the Opéra du Nord was dissolved in 1985.
Renovated from 1998 to 2003 to be operational in 2004, when Lille was the European capital of culture, the opera was experiencing a renaissance durable and original. Its objective is to open up to all repertoires, to contemporary creations, to want to be accessible to all audiences (mediation policy).
Architecturally, the opera house is particularly remarkable for its facade evoking the Louis XVI style in vogue in the Belle Epoque (at the same period, the beginning of the 20th century, the Grand and Petit Palais were thus built in Paris). The limestone highlights the bays, the sculpted decorations… Inside, the Grand foyer is richly decorated (painted ceiling, sculpted groups). As for the Italian-style hall, it is covered with a dome, includes boxes, an orchestra pit and its gauge is 1138 seats. The decorations display dominant red and gold colors, and we notice a number of sculpted decorations.
Information (visit and program of shows) on +33 3 62 21 21 21.