Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux

Bordeaux, France

The Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux is an opera house first inaugurated on 17 April 1780. It was in this theatre that the ballet La fille mal gardée premiered in 1789, and where a young Marius Petipa staged some of his first ballets.

The theatre was designed by the architect Victor Louis (1731–1800). Louis later designed the galleries surrounding, the gardens of the Palais Royal, and the Théâtre Français in Paris.

The Grand Theatre of Bordeaux was conceived as a temple of the Arts and Light, with a neo-classical facade. It has a portico of 12 Corinthian style colossal columns which support an entablature on which stand 12 statues that represent the nine Muses and three goddesses (Juno, Venus and Minerva). Pierre-François Berruer made four of the statues, and his assistant Van den Drix carved the others from Berruer's models.

The interior grand staircase served as a model for the grand staircase of the Opéra Garnier in Paris.

On the ceiling of the auditorium, there is a large fresco painted by Jean-Baptiste-Claude Robin. It pays homage to the Arts, to the artisans that built the building, and to the city of Bordeaux. The late scene shows a woman, allegory of Bordeaux, protected by Hermes and Athena, and in the foreground, three wealth of the city : the wine, the sea trade and the slave.

The inside of the theatre was restored in 1991, and once again has its original colours of blue and gold. The Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux is one of the oldest wooden frame opera houses in Europe not to have burnt or required rebuilding.

Today, the theatre is home to the Opéra National de Bordeaux, as well as the Ballet National de Bordeaux which has many international dancers.


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Founded: 1780
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in France


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User Reviews

Gergely Nagy (12 months ago)
We were extremely lucky to have the chance to take part on a tour inside this beautiful building - it is opened for visitors for only two days every year. The concert hall is a gem (though the seats are not from the most comfortable ones), and there is a great view from the balcony.
Mark Tluszcz (12 months ago)
If you stand in front of this majestic building, take a few minutes to walk in and check out the beautiful entrance & staircase…
Valentina Bezzina (14 months ago)
What a beautiful place! We got to get a place on the day, an hour before the show when the final tickets are sold. Lovely experience!
Shai Nissan (16 months ago)
Impressive building in the heart of the city. If you wanna watch a show, you better book a ticket in advance.
Mark Gammie (17 months ago)
Excellent concert, good acoustics and Ms. Rangwanasha's soprano was to die for. Superb!
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