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“The House of glass and stone”

Opera National de Lyon
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Lyon City Highlights Segway Tour
Ranked #49 of 203 things to do in Lyon
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Lyon's internationally renowned opera.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
487 reviews
316 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 455 helpful votes
“The House of glass and stone”
Reviewed 25 September 2012

Located in a lovely wide square with decorative fountains (Place Louis Pradel) adjacent to Place des Terreaux and adjoining the Town Hall, Jean Novel’s Opera House serves as a wonderful resource and attraction even when nothing is on there. Its bar and café in the arcade in front of the main entrance is a favorite watering hole for the Lyonais.
The façade of the original 1831 theatre with 8 of the 9 statues on the pediment preserved, is crowned by an enormous glass barrel-vault serving as the roof and encompassing a restaurant and rehearsal rooms. Nouvel’s renovation was started in 1985 and only completed in 1993, and the floridly painted foyer is out of sync with the auditorium itself that is utterly Spartan. The seats are thin and perforated so as not to absorb the sound, as is the case in Wagner’s opera house in Bayreuth. There are no fewer than 6 balconies above the stalls and grand circle, fortunately served by an elevator. Each balcony has only one-to-three rows of seats, so that the whole place is virtually a vast cavern into which the music can pour without being muffled. Other than during a performance, the Opera may be visited on Saturday mornings by purchasing a ticket from the Tourist Office at Place Bellecoeur. For the same price, we managed to purchase a 6th-Balcony ticket for an event in which we had little interest --- a performance by a visiting Japanese dance company---- but there was no interval and we were unable to see as much of this strange theatre as we would have wished. La Scala and the Bolshoi it certainly is not, but it is an accurate expression of this resourceful city that throughout its history has learned to make the best of it.

Visited September 2012
Thank davidgoldberg1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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120 reviews from our community

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2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2012

A first theater was built here by Soufflot during the 18th century. Nevertheless, the theatre soon became too small and the architects Chenavard and Pollet rebuilt a brand new one in a neo-classical style in 1830.

At the beginning of 1980s, out of age and not meeting the needs any more, the Opera had to be renewed. A competition for architects was thus launched and won in 1986 by Jean Nouvel. The new Opera of Lyon was inaugurated in May 1993 and is now part of the international architectural heritage. Outside the opera house, Nouvel only kept the outer walls. He also dug new underground levels and added a semi-cylindrical dome that is used by dancers. On the opera house front wall, 8 muses have been kept in place (Uranie, the 9th one was removed to respect the symmetry of the building).

Visited April 2012
Thank Charlotte B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lyon, France
Level Contributor
35 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Opera National de Lyon”
Reviewed 12 March 2012

Beautiful architecture, good accoustic. D'ont miss "Le cafe des muses " where you can have a meal at the top, surrounding the the city

Thank Bernard V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“January Visit to An Opera House”
Reviewed 2 September 2010

We had a guided tour around this theatre as part of a 'french exchange' programme and I have to say it was a marvellous building architecturally, especially from the dance studio where the glass windows gave stunning panoramic views of the city. Worth a visit!

2 Thank GuillermoRocoso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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