the Grand-Theatre

The Grand Theatre

The history of the Grand Theatre of Bordeaux, inaugurated on 7 April 1780, has been punctuated by various events over the ages. The building is still considered one of the most beautiful theatres in the world and was the work of renowned architect Victor Louis. In addition to its aesthetic value, the building has exceptional acoustics thanks to the wooden structure surrounding it.

On its façade, the 12 Corinthian columns are crowned by 9 muses and 3 goddesses from ancient mythology gazing into the distance, designed by Pierre Berruer.

Nearly a century after its construction, Charles Garnier drew inspiration from the grand staircase for his design for the one in the Opéra de Paris.

The task of decorating the dome in the theatre was entrusted to Jean-Baptiste Robin. The theme chosen by the artist was “Apollo and the muses approving the dedication of a temple built by the city of Bordeaux”, a three-fold tribute, both allegorical and realistic, to the arts, the craftsmen who built the theatre and the city of Bordeaux.

The current chandelier was installed in 1917. Weighing 1.2 tonnes, it is made of Bohemia crystal and holds an impressive 400 lights.

Some of the most celebrated artists have performed and captivated audiences in this architectural masterpiece in Bordeaux, including Liszt, Cinti-Damoreau, Falcon, Viardot, Talma, Nourrit, Duprez, Rubini, Petipa, Chaliapine, Schipa and, in more recent years, Plácido Domingo, Gustav Leonhardt, Natalie Dessay, Cecilia Bartoli, and Carolyn Carlson.

The National Opera of Bordeaux at the Grand Theatre

Today, the venue is managed by the National Opera of Bordeaux which performs a large part of its programme there, headed by Marc Minkowski.

The Grand Theatre is also home to the Artistic, Technical, Administration and Finance, and Development and Communication Departments, as well as housing the workshops and guest artists.

Visiting the Grand Theatre

Outside the summer period, we invite visitors to come and discover one of the finest 18th-century theatres and go behind the scenes of an opera house.

Access and visits to the auditorium are subject to the technical requirements of the shows. In the case of rehearsals or the installation of sets on stage, photos and videos are prohibited in the auditorium in the Grand Theatre.

For individual visitors:

Booking is required at the National Opera of Bordeaux ticket counter by calling +33 (0)5 56 00 85 95 from Tuesday to Saturday from 1pm to 6:30pm or on our website.

Tours at 2:30pm - 4pm - 5:30pm
€6 - Free for under 12s

For groups:

Information and bookings at Bordeaux Métropole Tourist Office
by calling +33 (0)5 56 00 66 00 or by email

Take home a souvenir from the Opera Boutique at the end of your visit

You will find the Opera Boutique in the hall at the end of your visit.

Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 1pm to 6.30pm (excluding public holidays), you can purchase documentation on the Grand Theatre, programmes and souvenirs from the National Opera of Bordeaux.
Visitors on the tour of the Grand Theatre* benefit from a 5% discount in the Opera Boutique on presentation of their ticket (purchased via the National Opera of Bordeaux).

*Tours sold by the Tourist Office do not include this offer.

In the summer, we organise a themed exhibition

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The Grand Theatre in pictures