Arts: The Opéra du Rhin of Genevois Alain Perroux is full

Arts: The Opéra du Rhin of Genevois Alain Perroux is full
Arts: The Opéra du Rhin of Genevois Alain Perroux is full
Norwegian soprano Elisabeth Teige during Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot, at the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg in June 2023.

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The Opéra national du Rhin (OnR), which brings together the halls of Strasbourg, Colmar and Mulhouse, was full during its 2023-2024 season. Its general director, the Genevan Alain Perroux, was delighted with the “craze” of the public, particularly the youngest.

If performance halls were generally popular after the periods of confinement, the trend continued during the past season, Mr. Perroux declared Monday during a press conference to present the 2024 season – 2025.

“A lot of shows are full. For Wagner’s ‘Lohengrin’, we sold out standing places,” he said. “The attendance rate continues to climb.” It reached 93% while the 2023-2024 season is not yet over, compared to 85% in 2022-2023 and 82% in 2021-2022.

In this context, the OnR managed to limit its deficit to 241,000 euros in 2023, the growth in revenues offsetting the increase in costs linked to inflation, while subsidies remained stable.

“Birds of bad omen”

“People have a lot of pleasure in returning to the performance halls,” Mr. Perroux told AFP. “We strive to offer extremely diverse programming so that there is something for everyone,” he continued, emphasizing that 27% of the OnR audience is under 30 years old.

“Opera is a genre that always has so much to tell us and I don’t believe the birds of ill omen: this so-called obsolescence of opera is an urban legend,” he added.

During the next season which begins in September, the OnR will cultivate classics such as “La Traviata” by Verdi, “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” by Offenbach or even “Ariodante”, “the most beautiful of all the operas of Handel”, co-produced with Covent Garden.

While Strasbourg hosts its famous Christmas market every year, the OnR will present Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker” for the holidays.

At the Grand Théâtre de Genève from 2026

But it also programs more original works like “Picture a day like this”, by the British George Benjamin, a work created last year at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. Or even “Les Trois brigands”, taken from the children’s album by Alsatian illustrator Tomi Ungerer.

Natalie Dessay will sing in “Sweeney Todd,” a Broadway musical about bloody revenge.

Alain Perroux, born in 1971, will be the next general director of the Grand Théâtre de Genève. He will take up his position in July 2026. He will succeed Zurich resident Aviel Cahn, who takes over the German Opera in Berlin (Deutsche Oper).

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