Northern France Tourism : official website

The ceiling of the Lille opera house

The history of the opera house

"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!"

The Lille opera house
  • The Lille opera house
  • © Xavier Alphand
« Ad alta per artes » - higher thanks to art! A Latin motto inscribed on the opera house ceiling

The opera house these days

"The opera house has attracted a very wide audience since 2003, when the Lille opera house reopened after 5 years of renovations. The main foyer covers the length of the façade and is bathed in the extraordinary light from 5 bay windows. Many performances and concerts take place there. An eclectic programme of high-quality is the source of this success. The opera house also has resident artists, such as the Astrée concert, an instrumental and vocal group dedicated to music conducted by Emmanuelle Haïm. It is well-known outside the region, and attracts operatic and choreographic performances from throughout France, and even around Europe. So ask for the program and reserve your seats now!"

The boxes in the Lille opera house
  • The boxes in the Lille opera house
  • © Rémi Vimont