BWW Feature: ACADEMIE DE L'OPERA at Opéra De Paris

BWW Feature: ACADEMIE DE L'OPERA at Opéra De Paris

This year marks the 350th anniversary of the Opéra de Paris, and the 30th anniversary of the Opéra Bastille (their second location right in the heart of the city). But the opera is looking towards the future with their Academy's newest season.

The Académie de l'Opéra is now entering its fourth year, and is expanding yet again. A place for emerging singers, musicians, directors, and costume makers to train for a career in the opera world, this years' Academy season includes exchanges with two international theatres, explorations of Shakespeare, and long time opera favorites too.

The season is launching with a Shakespeare themed show called Shakespeare, Fragments Nocturne (Shakespeare, Night Fragments). Many opera composers have adapted Shakespeare's work, and so the Academy is taking the best elements of existing Shakespeare inspired creations and bringing them together into one theme: Night.

Next up is Merveille (Wonder), an opera-ballet show focused on the limits of the voice.

The largest production for the academy this year will be Die Fledermaus (The Bat; La Chauve-Souris) by Strauss. This show is part of the Opera's touring programming and will be seen in Bobigny, Grenoble, Compiegne, Amiens, and more.

Finally, we return to nocturnal themes with a carte blanche for resident director Jeanne Desoubeaux titled Et La Nuit Eclairait La Nuit (And Night Will Illuminate Night).

In addition to these four main season presentations, the students of the academy are also participating in several concerts and youth-oriented productions.

At the press conference announcing the new season on October 2nd, the focus of the presenting panel (which included Academy Director Myriam Mazouzi) was not so much on the upcoming shows, but on the important work the Academy does for the young professionals and for the opera community around the world. The Opera Academy appears to have no problem filling its houses year after year- the lowest average their capacity reached last year was 88%- and as such is able to invest greatly in their programs' expansions.

This year a few of the Academy's singers will travel to Moscow to do an exchange with Bolchoi Theatre- and a few artists from the Bolchoi will be coming to Paris. Costume designers within the academy will be heading to a theatre in India for a time as well, to learn more about costume creation. And the company will also be travelling across France delivering several productions, and having a residency at Evian, with performances of several of their works.

The Academy is certainly on the move, and has plans to grow even more. It was announced during the press conference that in the 19/20 season, the Academy participants will have the opportunity to perform on the Opera Garnier stage, which has not been possible so far in the program's history.

The greatest benefits of the Academy program are two: the accessible ticket price for every production, and the far reach to young audiences. Director Mazouzi spoke eloquently on the importance of not only training the artists, but training the audience to enjoy Opera and see it as a part of their lives for years to come. She even acknowledged that the economic model of the Opera itself is changing and modernizing based on feedback they are getting from their audiences. It's clearly working- around 20,000 children saw their TYA productions in the previous season.

The Opéra de Paris' forward thinking will ensure the future carries on the traditions of our collective past through opera, and The Academy has a large role to play in this mission.

For information on showtimes and tickets, please visit: https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/academy

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From This Author Lauren Allen

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