Since 2002, the Opéra National de Bordeaux has been under independent management in administrative terms, as a financially independent legal entity that reports to the local authority of the City of Bordeaux.
It is presided over by a Board composed of six representatives from the City of Bordeaux, two representatives from the State and one representative from the Nouvelle Aquitaine Regional Council.
The creation of the Independent Management status of the Opéra National de Bordeaux by the City of Bordeaux was accompanied by the contractual provision of property and services, in particular the premises (Auditorium and Grand-Théâtre).
The Opéra National de Bordeaux has an establishment project that was approved in 2018 and works within the framework of the National Opera 2018 / 2022 agreement signed in 2019.
With the aim of becoming one of the major opera houses in France and Europe, it has been granted the “Opéra National en Région” and “Orchestre National en Région” certifications by the Ministry for Culture & Communication, and boasts a ballet company of national renown.
France’s 2nd leading cultural operator in terms of permanent artistic employment and the leading cultural employer in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, the Opéra National de Bordeaux offers lyrical, choreographic and symphonic seasons.
A centre for excellence, production, transmission and professional integration in the lyrical, choreographic and musical fields, the ONB has been headed by Marc Minkowski since 2016 and is developing a project based on three founding values: excellence / openness and dialogue / and sharing.
The artistic project, in all its facets, is built around 2 focus points:
- The promotion of lyrical, choreographic and symphonic heritage
- Openness to a variety of aesthetics and contemporary repertoires
The cultural project aims to build and foster strong links with audiences of all types throughout the territory. This takes the form, more particularly, of a significant rise in initiation, mediation and outreach activities with audiences, in the framework of cultural projects.
The Opéra National de Bordeaux also develops its activity through international networks in the lyrical, choreographic and musical fields. It is a member of Opera Europe, the French Orchestra Association and the Réunion des Opéras de France, and also belongs to the trade union Les Forces Musicales.
The Opéra National de Bordeaux is a founding member of the Scènes Ensemble metropolitan network, which forms part of a regional network of certified theatres and companies.
Lastly, it has been hosting Pygmalion in Residence since 2014, and has developed three high-profile artistic partnerships with the Ballet of the National Opera of Paris, Angelin Preljocaj and his company Ballet Preljocaj, Centre Chorégraphique National and the Opera of Limoges.
The ONB carries out its activities thanks to:
1 1 team of around 400 employees
3 artistic forces
(Orchestra, Ballet & Choir), i.e. at present around 180 permanent artists (98 musicians, 35 dancers and 38 singers)
3 manufacturing workshops
Stage sets, costumes, accessories and costume decoration
70 stage technicians
2 performance venues:
Grand-Théâtre (opened in 1780) and the Opera Auditorium (opened in 2013 and consisting of 2 performance theatres and the musicians’ centre),
offering 2,500 seats (total gauge)
1 Ballet centre,
Espace Franklin, with 2 rehearsal studios
Set production workshop, set and costume storage warehouse, accessories warehouse
1 annual budget of €31.1 million, allocated as follows:
74 % in grants from 3 key public funders: City of Bordeaux, the Ministry for Culture and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Regional Council
Artistic activity indicators:
120 programmes, 230 curtain-ups (2020 / 2021 season)
3 leading fields:
Opera, dance and symphony
50 ongoing contracts
(Co-productions, co-directions, commissions, provision of our artistic teams, production support, etc.)
700 artists on stage
More than 100 temporary technical workers hired per season
Audience indicators (average per season):
230,000 to 240,000 participants (audiences, visitors, etc.)
190,000 performance tickets issued
€30 average ticket price
Around 90 % occupancy
65% of audiences live in the Bordeaux Métropole area,
including 35% in Bordeaux
30,000 audience households,
including 40% new households each season
More than 7,000 season ticket holders
which represents less than 30% of total audiences
Almost 25 % of audiences are aged under 28
Around 15,000 schoolchildren welcomed
for 55% of programmed events
40,000 to 50,000 participants in event operations
on and off-site (Heritage Days, Tous à l’Opéra, Music Festival, free concerts and summer exhibitions, etc.)