"Originally situated in the centre of the town of Lille, the former theatre was completely destroyed by a fire in 1903. So the town launched a competition for the construction of a new building. The famous architect, Louis-Marie Cordonnier’s project was successful. He was also responsible for the construction of many of the region’s belfries. Inspired by the neoclassical style, at the time known as the “Grand Théâtre”, the Lille opera house was situated on the Place du Théâtre. The construction was almost finished when the First World War broke out. The Germans took over the building and used it for many performances of works by German composers: Beethoven, Wagner, Mozart.... After this German interlude and renovations, the “Grand Théâtre” finally gave its first French performance in 1923!"