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Must-see operas this season in Paris

Some must-visit Paris venues regularly stage the greatest operas, and classical music’s best-loved works

The autumn cultural calendar would be incomplete without music. The city’s classical music and opera venues offer particularly rich and varied programming from September onwards.

Opera in Paris

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The Opéra Bastille is opening its season with a new production: ‘Don Giovanni’, one of Mozart’s masterpieces, staged by Claus Guth (from 13 September to 12 October 2023). Also at Bastille, the director Kirill Serebrennikov is making his Opéra national de Paris debut with his powerful staging of ‘Lohengrin’, composed and written by Richard Wagner (from 23 September to 27 October 2023). ‘L’Affaire Makropoulos’ tackles the theme of eternal youth with a 337-year-old singer who looks 30 (from 5 to 17 October 2023), while ‘Cendrillon’ (Cinderella), originally composed by Jules Massenet, draws inspiration from the famous Perrault fairytale but then deviates from it, with a female voice playing Prince Charming (from 25 October to 16 November 2023).

Other performances that are not to be missed this autumn: a new version of ‘Don Pasquale’ by Damiano Michieletto at the Opéra Garnier (from 14 September to 13 October 2023), ‘La Fille de Madame Angot’ (Madame Angot’s Daughter) (from 27 September to 5 October 2023) staged at the Théâtre national de l’Opéra-Comique by Richard Brunel, the director of the Opéra national de Lyon, and ‘La Cenerentola’, another adaptation of ‘Cinderella’, in a dramma giocoso (an Italian term meaning ‘comic drama’) version at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (from 9 to 29 October 2023).

Classic music concerts in Paris

© Anne Deniau

It gets harder every year to choose among the concerts on the Paris calendar, as the French capital offers such a plethora of opportunities to enjoy great works of classical music.

The Philharmonie de Paris, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Seine Musicale, the [Auditorium du Louvre]( and the Maison de la Radio, all of them venues with outstanding acoustics, are once again hosting some of the world’s most renowned orchestras this year.

The magnificent Sainte Chapelle with its remarkable stained glass windows often thrills to the sounds of the finest classical music compositions. And the classical music concerts regularly hosted in Paris churches are a feast for the eyes as well as the ears: Église Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, Église de la Madeleine, Église Saint-Ephrem, Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the American Church or the Cathédrale Saint-Louis-des-Invalides.


Amid this wealth of offers, Klaus Mäkelä is opening the season at the Philharmonie de Paris with the chorus of the Orchestre de Paris (6 and 7 September 2023) and the Seine Musicale is staging a performance of Beethoven’sEroica’ Symphony** (27 and 28 September 2023) by the Insula Orchestra, while the Bayerisches Staatsorchester and Vladimir Jurowski will take over the [Théâtre des Champs-Elysées](( to play Schumann and Mahler (21 September 2023).

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