With the sponsorship of the BNP Paribas Foundation, the Paris Opera continues with the “Avant-Premières” initiatives that has already given 25,000 young people under the age of 28 the chance to attend shows before their official première. For the 2016/2017 season, under-28s will get to see 13 special-event performances before the opening night at the exceptional price of 10 euros a ticket.
The Avant-Premières in figures
Our role: cultural transmission
Is the Opera inaccessible to young people?
Not if one listens to Stéphane Lissner, Director of the Paris Opera. Back in 2014, when he was head of La Scala in Milan, he offered young people under 28 the chance to see shows before opening night at a single, exclusive rate of €10 a seat.
The success of the offer prompted Stéphane Lissner to launch the same initiative in Paris in 2015: “The outcome has been very positive. More than 59% of the young people who attended previews this season had never been to the Paris Opera before, and tickets sold out on the Internet in less than twenty minutes. Rejuvenating and democratising our audiences is a priority. They are the audiences of the future, and now is the time to open the doors of the Paris Opera to them.”
Opening the doors of the Opera to younger generations regardless of their background, giving them the chance to visit these two prestigious Paris venues and discover voices, music and dance... these are the aims of the “Avant-Premières” initiative. Opera should not be restricted to an ageing audience and connoisseurs; it must be shared and opened up to a younger, broader, more diverse audience.
“ Seeing a show performed with all of us together in one theatre is like social cement. It is this diversity that also gives us the strength to be united. That is the original idea. ”
Director of the Paris Opera
The opera house, a place where all the arts meet
Preview performances are a unique opportunity to introduce artistic creation to spectators of whom some have never set foot in the opera house.
From the great classics to contemporary productions, from choreography to lyrical art, this initiative enables young people to see performing artists at work before opening night. Another original idea is to let young spectators share in the exceptional moments around a performance: a tour of the house, talking with the craftsmen of the Opera, meeting the performers... Unique opportunities to discover what goes on backstage in these prestigious places.
A generous audience that is open-minded and not indifferent in the least.
A long-term commitment
As a sponsor of the Paris Opera for more than a decade already, the BNP Paribas Foundation specifically supports the institution’s price-incentive policy for 18-25 year-olds. For the 2nd season in a row, it has been the main sponsor of the Avant-Premières initiative, and it has undertaken to continue its support for the next three seasons to the amount of 600,000 euros.
“Through this sponsorship, the BNP Paribas Foundation encourages the Paris Opera in its proactive policy to democratise culture and prove its commitment to give young people access to artistic excellence.” Said Michel Pébereau, Chairman of the BNP Paribas Foundation.
Like last year, the BNP Paribas Foundation chose this year to offer 800 tickets to a young and passionate public, but not necessarily the financial means to go to the Opera. 400 tickets will thus be made available to the students of the National Conservatory of Music and Dance of Paris, and more specifically to those of the "Disciplines Chorégraphiques" department. The remaining 400 places will be offered to young people from 14 to 28 years old through competitions games on social networks.
Photos ©Louis Bourjac