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“Nice facade, ordinary interior.”

Opera National de Lyon
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Ranked #49 of 226 things to do in Lyon
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Owner description: Lyon's internationally renowned opera.
Reviewed 11 May 2013

The opportunity of a free inspection of the whole interior was too much to turn down so we waited in line for 45 minutes to go in.

Whilst waiting, we could admire the outside which is grand a beautiful, but with a curved glass roof that doesn't quite fit in to the structure. But it all held a great appeal.

Our tour started from a side entrance taking us up several flights of steel stairs which I reckon are the fire escapes. Finally after a bit of huffing and puffing we entered into the actual theatre, and I couldn't believe the difference between the outside and the inside.

A completely black interior with no adornments what so ever, with about 4 rows of seating on this particular floor, and we could see all the galleries, which also had no decorations; I was expecting lots of carved wood, frescos, murals and gold paint. Basically there was nothing to see there at all.

We were then led up another 5 or 6 flights of stairs in the internal fire escapes and came to a floor containing the dressing rooms, these were open and had costumes in each and a photo showing that costume on the actor.

Then after a climb up a circular concrete staircase reminiscent of those found in castles, we emerged into that glass roof, which contains the ballet practice area, with a view over the entire old town of Lyon. Everyone just stopped there to take photos of the view, after just walking non-stop through all the previous areas.

There, in front of all the mirrors, they had many more costumes displayed on mannequins and one could admire the work that goes into designing and making these.

That was the end of the tour apart from what seemed like endless internal fire escape stairways till we emerged at the box office and an escalator to the street.

There were a fair few families with kids and older folk whom I suspect might have had trouble with all the stairs, but I imagine that the normal paid tour would use lifts, I hope anyway.

Thank OzGronk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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16 - 20 of 133 reviews

Reviewed 21 October 2012

Opera National de Lyon has been built in 1993 and ever since it is one of the must see places of Lyon. Guided visit is highly recommended. The perfect correlation of the ultramodern and classical style is present throughout the entire building in and out. The cafe- restaurant is well worth the visit itself.

1  Thank Gordana P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

Thank davidgoldberg1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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).

Thank Charlotte B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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

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