To the sound of “Tales of Hoffmann”, by Jacques Offenbach, the Opéra Bastille reopened to the public on Saturday 25 January. Sunday, January 26, the performances of “The Afternoon of a Fauna / The Child and the Spells” at the Palais Garnier and of the “Barber of Seville” at the Bastille Opera at 2:30 p.m. are also confirmed. These are the first three performances since the start of the social conflict that has put the institution on hold for a month and a half.
In a video, shared on Twitter by one of the spectators in the room, a representative of the inter-union came on stage, Saturday, January 25, explaining the reason for this resumption. ” To preserve the economic integrity of the Opera, we have decided to provide this performance this evening “, He read, almost inaudibly to the applause mixed with loud hoots from the public.
Since the start of the movement, of historic scale for the institution, 74 performances have been canceled. The most recent being “The Afternoon of a Fauna / The Child and the Spells”, from Thursday 23 January at the Palais Garnier. The ticketing losses, which now reach nearly 15 million euros, are greater than the state’s annual contribution to the Opera’s pension fund.
A final recovery?
“ We have tried in many ways to express our deep attachment to the excellence of our house as well as to the transmission of a unique cultural heritage. “Continued the representative of the inter-union, referring to the various actions carried out against the pension reform and the abolition of their special scheme. This exemption, which has existed since 1698, allows, among other things, dancers to bow out at 42, an age beyond which it is difficult to maintain a level of excellence.
On Christmas Eve, the mobilization of strikers from the Paris Opera had gone around the world when around forty dancers from the Opera ballet corps gave an improvised mini-show of “Swan Lake” in front of posters “Paris Opera on strike” and “Culture is in danger”.
A week later, it was the turn of the musicians of the Paris Opera orchestra to organize a mini-concert on the steps of the Bastille opera, performing some well-known pieces from the classical repertoire. In mid-January, the orchestra and the choir of the Opera offered an extract from “Carmen” by Bizet and “La Marseillaise”.
For the moment, nothing indicates whether this reopening bodes well for a definitive recovery. The intersyndical said however that the artists remained ” mobilized for the withdrawal of this bill “.