The Paris Opera (French: Opéra de Paris) is the primary opera company of France. It was founded in 1669 by Louis XIV as the Académie d'Opéra, and shortly thereafter was placed under the leadership of Jean-Baptiste Lully and officially renamed the Académie Royale de Musique, but continued to be known more simply as the Opéra. Classical ballet as we know it today arose within the Paris Opera as the Paris Opera Ballet and has remained an integral and important part of the company. Currently called the Opéra National de Paris, it mainly produces operas at its modern 2700-seat theatre Opéra Bastille which opened in 1989, and ballets and some classical operas at the older 1970-seat Palais Garnier which opened in 1875. Small scale and contemporary works are also staged in the 500-seat Amphitheatre under the Opéra Bastille.
The company's annual budget is in the order of 200 million euros, of which 100 million come from the French state and 70 million from box office receipts. With this money, the company runs the two houses and supports a large permanent staff, which includes the orchestra of 170, a chorus of 110 and the corps de ballet of 150.
Each year, the Opéra presents about 380 performances of opera, ballet and other concerts, to a total audience of about 800,000 people (of whom 17% come from abroad), which is a very good average seat occupancy rate of 94%. In the 2012/13 season, the Opéra presented 18 opera titles (two in a double bill), 13 ballets, 5 symphonic concerts and two vocal recitals, plus 15 other programmes. The company's training bodies are also active, with 7 concerts from the Atelier Lyrique and 4 programmes from the École de Danse.
The Opera under Louis XIV
The poet Pierre Perrin began thinking and writing about the possibility of French opera in 1655, more than a decade before the official founding of the Paris Opera as an institution. He believed that the prevailing opinion of the time that the French language was fundamentally unmusical was completely incorrect. Seventeenth-century France offered Perrin essentially two types of organization for realizing his vision: a royal academy or a public theater. In 1666 he proposed to the minister Colbert that "the king decree 'the establishment of an Academy of Poetry and Music' whose goal would be to synthesize the French language and French music into an entirely new lyric form." Even though Perrin's original concept was of an academy devoted to discussions of French opera, the king's intention was in fact a unique hybrid of royal academy and public theatre, with an emphasis on the latter as an institution for performance. On 28 June 1669, Louis XIV signed the Privilège accordé au Sieur Perrin pour l'établissement d'une Académie d'Opéra en musique, & Vers François (Privilege granted to Sir Perrin for the establishment of an Academy of Opera in music, & French Verse). The wording of the privilège, based in part on Perrin's own writings, gave him the exclusive right for 12 years to found anywhere in France academies of opera dedicated to the performance of opera in French. He was free to select business partners of his choice and to set the price of tickets. No one was to have the right of free entry including members of the royal court, and no one else could set up a similar institution. Although it was to be a public theatre, it retained its status as royal academy in which the authority of the king as the primary stakeholder was decisive. The monopoly, originally intended to protect the enterprise from competition during its formative phase, was renewed for subsequent recipients of the privilege up to the early French Revolution. As Victoria Johnson points out, "the Opera was an organization by nature so luxurious and expensive in its productions that its very survival depended on financial protection and privilege."
Perrin converted the Bouteille tennis court, located on the Rue des Fossés de Nesles (now 42 Rue Mazarine), into a rectangular facility with provisions for stage machinery and scenery changes and a capacity of about 1200 spectators. His first opera Pomone with music by Robert Cambert opened on 3 March 1671 and ran for 146 performances. A second work, Les peines et les plaisirs de l'amour, with a libretto by Gabriel Gilbert and music by Cambert, was performed in 1672.
Despite this early success, Cambert and two other associates did not hesitate to swindle Perrin, who was imprisoned for debt and forced to concede his privilege on 13 March 1672 to the surintendant of the king's music Jean-Baptiste Lully. The institution was renamed the Académie Royale de Musique and came to be known in France simply as the Opéra. Within one month Lully had convinced the king to expand the privilege by restricting the French and Italian comedians to using two singers rather than six, and six instrumentalists, rather than twelve. Because of legal difficulties Lully could not use the Salle de la Bouteille, and a new theatre was built by Carlo Vigarani at the Bel Air tennis court on the Rue de Vaugirard. Later, Lully and his successors bitterly negotiated the concession of the privilege, in whole or in part, from the entrepreneurs in the provinces: in 1684 Pierre Gautier bought the authorisation to open a music academy in Marseille, then the towns of Lyon, Rouen, Lille and Bordeaux followed suit in the following years.
During Lully's tenure, the only works performed were his own. The first productions were the pastorale Les fêtes de l'Amour et de Bacchus (November 1672) and his first tragedie lyrique called Cadmus et Hermione (27 April 1673).
After Molière's death in 1673, his troupe merged with the players at the Théâtre du Marais to form the Théâtre Guénégaud (at the same theatre that had been used by the Académie d'Opéra), and no longer needed the theatre built by Richelieu at his residence the Palais-Royal, near the Louvre. (In 1680 the troupe at the Guénégaud merged again with the players from the Hôtel de Bourgogne forming the Comédie-Française.) Richelieu's theatre had been designed by Jacques Le Mercier and had opened in 1641, and unlike the huge theatre at the Tuileries Palace, which could accommodate 6,000 to 8,000 spectators, was of a size consistent with good acoustics. Lully greatly desired a better theatre and persuaded the king to let him use the one at the Palais-Royal free of charge. The Théâtre du Palais-Royal had been altered in 1660 and 1671, but Lully, with 3,000 livres received from the king, had further changes made by Vigarani in 1674.
The first production in the new theatre was Alceste on 19 January 1674. The opera was bitterly attacked by those enraged at the restrictions that Lully had caused to be placed on the French and Italian comedians. To mitigate the damage, Louis XIV arranged for new works to be premiered at the court, usually at the Chateau Vieux of the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. This had the further advantage of subsidizing the cost of rehearsals, as well as most of the machinery, sets, and costumes, which were donated to the Opéra for use in Paris. During Lully's time at the Opéra, performances were given all year, except for three weeks at Easter. Regular performances were on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The premieres presented at court were usually during Carnival and were moved to the Palais-Royal after Easter, where the openings were on Thursdays. About two to three new works were mounted each year. In all, thirteen of Lully's tragédie en musique were performed there (see the list of compositions by Jean-Baptiste Lully).
After Lully died (in 1687), the number of new works per year almost doubled, since his successors (Pascal Collasse, Henri Desmarets, André Campra, André Cardinal Destouches, and Marin Marais) had greater difficulty sustaining the interest of the public. Revivals of Lully's works were common. French composers at the Opéra generally wrote music to new librettos, which had to be approved by the directors of the company. The Italian practice of preparing new settings of existing librettos was considered controversial and did not become the norm in Paris until around 1760. One of the most important of the new works during this period was an opéra-ballet by Campra called L'Europe galante presented in 1697.
In 1661 Louis XIV, who was a dancer himself and one of the great architects of baroque ballet (the art form which would one day evolve into classical ballet), established the Académie Royale de Danse, intended to codify court and character dances and to certify dance teachers by examination. From 1680 until Lully's death, it was under the direction of the great dancing master Pierre Beauchamp, the man who codified the five positions of the feet. When Lully took over the Opéra in 1672, he and Beauchamp made theatrical ballet an important part of the company's productions. The ballet of that time was merely an extension of the opera, having yet to evolve into an independent form of theatrical art. As it became more important, however, the dance component of the company began to be referred to as the Paris Opera Ballet. In 1713 an associated ballet school was opened, today known as the Paris Opera Ballet School. The Académie Royale de Danse remained separate, and with the fall of the monarchy in 1789 it disappeared.
The company's names after the Revolution
With the French Revolution and the founding of the Republic, the company changed names several times, dropping its association with the royal family (see the List of official company names for details), and in 1794, moved into the Théâtre National de la rue de la Loi (capacity 2800) where it took the name Théâtre des Arts. In 1797, it was renamed the Théâtre de la République et des Arts.
Napoleon took control of the company in 1802 and with the declaration of the French Empire in 1804, renamed the company the Académie Impériale de Musique. With the Restoration in 1814, the company was renamed the Académie Royale de Musique. It became part of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1816. In 1821, the company moved to the Salle Le Peletier, which had a capacity of 1900 spectators and where it remained until the building was destroyed by fire in 1873.
In the second half of the 19th century, with the ascension of Napoleon III in 1851, the name Académie Impériale de Musique was reinstated and after 1870 with the formation of the Third Republic, was changed to Théâtre National de l'Opéra. In 1875, the institution occupied a new home, the Palais Garnier.
In 1939, the Opéra was merged with the Opéra-Comique and the company name became Réunion des Théâtres Lyriques Nationaux. The Opéra-Comique was closed in 1972 with the appointment of Rolf Liebermann as general administrator of the Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris (1973–1980), but in 1976, the Opéra-Comique was restored.
In 1990 the Opéra moved its primary venue to the new Opéra-Bastille, becoming the Opéra de Paris, although it continued to mount productions, primarily ballet, at the Palais Garnier; and the Opéra-Comique regained its autonomy. In 1994 the Opéra de Paris became the Opéra National de Paris. Regardless of all the changes in its "official" name, the company and its theatres were commonly referred to as the Opéra.
List of official company names
|28 June 1669||Académie d'Opéra||Perrin granted license by Louis XIV. Some sources give the company name as Académie Royale des Opéra.|||
|13 March 1672||Académie Royale de Musique||Lully granted license by Louis XIV|||
|24 June 1791||Opéra||Louis XVI flees Paris 21 June.|||
|29 June 1791||Académie de Musique||Louis XVI returns to Paris 25 June.|||
|17 September 1791||Académie Royale de Musique||Royal family attends opera 20 September.|||
|15 August 1792||Académie de Musique||Louis XVI arrested 13 August.|||
|12 August 1793||Opéra||Ratification of the Constitution of 1793.|||
|18 October 1793||Opéra National||Republican Calendar adopted 24 October.|||
|7 August 1794||Théâtre des Arts||Opéra moves to the Salle Montansier.|||
|2 February 1797||Théâtre de la République et des Arts|||
|24 August 1802||Théâtre de l'Opéra|||
|29 June 1804||Académie Impériale de Musique||First Empire (Napoleon) (18 May).|||
|3 April 1814||Académie de Musique|||
|5 April 1814||Académie Royale de Musique||First Restoration (April).|||
|21 March 1815||Académie Impériale de Musique||Hundred Days of Napoleon (20 March).|||
|9 July 1815||Académie Royale de Musique||Second Restoration (8 July).|||
|4 August 1830||Théâtre de l'Opéra||Charles X abdicates (2 August).|||
|10 August 1830||Académie Royale de Musique||July Monarchy.|||
|26 February 1848||Théâtre de la Nation||Second Republic.|||
|29 March 1848||Opéra-Théâtre de la Nation|||
|2 September 1850||Académie Nationale de Musique|||
|2 December 1852||Académie Impériale de Musique||Second Empire (Napoleon III).|||
|1 July 1854||Théâtre Impérial de l'Opéra||Supervision assumed by Imperial Household.|||
|4 September 1870||Théâtre de l'Opéra||Third Republic.|||
|17 September 1870||Théâtre National de l'Opéra|||
|14 January 1939||Réunion des Théâtres Lyriques Nationaux||Opéra takes control of Opéra-Comique.|||
|7 February 1978||Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris|||
|2 April 1990||Opéra de Paris||Move to the Opéra Bastille; the Opéra-Comique regains its autonomy.|||
|5 February 1994||Opéra National de Paris|||
List of venues
|Salle de la Bouteille||3 March 1671 – 1 April 1672||Located on the Rue Mazarine; eventually demolished.|||
|Salle du Bel-Air||10? November 1672 – June 1673||Located on the Rue de Vaugirard; also called Jeu de Paume de Béquet; eventually demolished.|||
|Salle du Palais-Royal (1st)||16 June 1673 – 6 April 1763||Built 1641; altered 1660, 1671, and 1674; destroyed by fire 6 April 1763.|||
|Salle des Tuileries||29 April 1764 – 1770||Remodeled first to a much smaller theatre by Soufflot.|||
|Salle du Palais-Royal (2nd)||20 January 1770 – 8 June 1781||Destroyed by fire 8 June 1781.|||
|Salle des Menus-Plaisirs||14 August – 23 October 1781||Located on the Rue Bergère; former theate of the Opéra-Comique of the Foire St. Laurent; eventually demolished.|||
|Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin||27 October 1781 – 7 March 1794||Built in two months by Samson-Nicholas Lenoir at the request of Marie Antoinette.|||
|Théâtre National de la rue de la Loi||26 July 1794 – 13 February 1820||Montansier's 1793 theatre; street name restored to Rue de Richelieu in 1806; theatre demolished 1820; site now Square Louvois.|||
|Salle Favart (1st)||19 April 1820 – 11 May 1821||Theatre of the Opéra-Comique on the Place Boieldieu; destroyed by fire on 13–14 January 1838.|||
|Salle Louvois||25 May – 15 June 1821||Built in 1791; the company performed there 3 times: 25 May, and 1 and 15 June.|||
|Salle Le Peletier||16 August 1821 – 28 October 1873||Built on the Rue Le Peletier as temporary quarters; destroyed by fire 28–29 October 1873.|||
|Salle Ventadour||19 January 1874 – 30 December 1874||Shared the theatre with its long-time occupant the Théâtre-Italien until the Palais Garnier was completed.|||
|Palais Garnier||5 January 1875 – 29 June 1936||Designed by Charles Garnier; located at the Place de l'Opéra.|||
|Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt||1 August 1936 – 20 November 1936||Performed at this theatre while the Palais Garnier was under renovation.|||
|Théâtre des Champs-Élysées||30 November 1936 – 17 February 1937||Performed at this theatre while the Palais Garnier was under renovation.|||
|Palais Garnier||21 February 1937 – present||Reopened at the renovated theatre.|||
|Opéra Bastille||13 July 1989 – present||Designed by Carlos Ott; the official opening concert was on 13 July 1989 to celebrate the bicentennial of the French Revolution.|||
List of managing directors
|28 June 1669||Pierre Perrin||Royal Household|
|30 March 1672||Jean-Baptiste Lully|
|27 June 1687||Jean Nicolas de Francine|
|30 December 1688||Jean Nicolas de Francine, Hyacinthe Gauréaud de Dumont|
|7 October 1704||Pierre Guyenet|
|12 December 1712||Jean Nicolas de Francine, Hyacinthe Gauréaud de Dumont|
|8 February 1728||André-Cardinal Destouches|
|1 June 1730||Maximilien-Claude Gruer|
|18 August 1731||Claude Lecomte, Lebœuf|
|30 May 1733||Eugène de Thuret|
|18 March 1744||Jean-François Berger|
|3 May 1748||Joseph Guénot de Tréfontaine|
|25 August 1749||Marquis d'Argenson, then François Rebel
and François Francœur
|City of Paris|
|13 March 1757||François Rebel, François Francœur||Royal Household|
|9 February 1767||Pierre Montan Berton, Jean-Claude Trial|
|9 November 1769||Pierre Montan Berton, Jean-Claude Trial,
Antoine Dauvergne, Joliveau
|City of Paris|
|18 April 1776||Direction by the Royal Commissioners||Royal Commissioners|
|18 October 1777||Jacques de Vismes du Valgay|
|19 February 1779||City of Paris|
|19 March 1780||Pierre Montan Berton||Royal Accountant|
|27 May 1780||Antoine Dauvergne, François-Joseph Gossec|
|8 April 1790||City of Paris|
|8 March 1792||Louis-Joseph Francœur, Jacques Cellerier
(under committee headed by J.-J. Leroux)
|17 September 1793||Committee of the Commune (with François Lays)|
|1 May 1797||Committee of the Commune|
|12 September 1799||Jacques Devisme (formerly Jacques de Vismes du Valgay),
Joseph Bonet de Treiches
|13 March 1800||Jacques Devisme|
|25 December 1800||Joseph Bonet de Treiches|
|19 December 1801||Jacques Cellerier|
|26 November 1802||Prefect Étienne Morel de Chefdeville, then
Joseph Bonet de Treiches as Director
|Prefects of the Palace|
|1 November 1807||Louis-Benoit Picard||Imperial Superintendents|
|3 April 1814||Royal Superintendents|
|18 January 1816||Denis Pierre Jean Papillon de la Ferté|
|30 March 1817||Alexandre Étienne Choron|
|30 October 1819||Giovanni-Battista Viotti|
|1 November 1821||François-Antoine Habeneck|
|26 November 1824||Raphaël Duplantys|
|12 July 1827||Émile Timothée Lubbert|
|2 March 1831||Louis-Désiré Véron||Franchised entrepreneurship
with state subvention
|15 August 1835||Henri Duponchel|
|15 November 1839||Henri Duponchel, Édouard Monnais|
|1 June 1840||Henri Duponchel, Édouard Monnais, Léon Pillet|
|1 June 1841||Henri Duponchel, Léon Pillet|
|October 1841||Léon Pillet|
|1 August 1847||Léon Pillet, Henri Duponchel, Nestor Roqueplan|
|24 November 1847||Henri Duponchel, Nestor Roqueplan|
|21 November 1849||Nestor Roqueplan|
|1 July 1854||Imperial Household
|11 November 1854||François-Louis Crosnier|
|1 July 1856||Alphonse Royer|
|20 December 1862||Émile Perrin|
|11 April 1866||Franchised entrepreneurship
with state subvention
|1 October 1870||State administration|
|28 October 1870||Society of Artists
with state subvention
|9 May 1871||Eugène Garnier|
|3 July 1871||Émile Perrin|
|9 July 1871||Hyacinthe Halanzier|
|1 November 1871||Private entrepreneurship
with state subvention
|16 July 1879||August Vaucorbeil|
|1 December 1884||Eugène Ritt, Pedro Gailhard|
|1 January 1892||Eugène Bertrand, Édouard Colonne|
|1 April 1893||Eugène Bertrand, Pedro Gailhard|
|31 December 1899||Pedro Gailhard|
|1907||Pedro Gailhard, Pierre Barthélemy Gheusi|
|1 January 1908||Leimistin Broussan, André Messager|
|1 January 1915||Jacques Rouché|
|14 January 1939||State administration:
Réunion des Théâtres
(Opéra and Opéra-Comique
merged under one
|1940||Jacques Rouché (RTLN), Philippe Gaubert (Opéra)|
|1942||Jacques Rouché (RTLN), Marcel Samuel-Rousseau (Opéra)|
|21 February 1945||René Gadave (interim administrator)|
|27 June 1945||Maurice Lehman (RTLN), Reynaldo Hahn (Opéra)|
|12 May 1946||Georges Hirsch (RTLN), Henri Büsser (Opéra)|
|17 November 1951||Maurice Lehman (RTLN), Emmanuelle Bondville (Opéra)|
|30 September 1955||Jacques Ibert (RTLN), Emmanuelle Bondville (Opéra)|
|13 April 1956||Georges Hirsch (RTLN), Emmanuelle Bondville (Opéra)|
|August 1959||A.-M. Julien  (RTLN), Emmanuelle Bondville (Opéra)|
|19 April 1962||Georges Auric (RTLN), Emmanuelle Bondville (Opéra)|
|September 1968||André Chabaud (interim director)|
|1 October 1969||René Nicoly|
|23 May 1971||Jean-Yves Daniel-Lesur (RTLN),
Bernard Lefort (Opéra)
|1 January 1972||Rolf Liebermann||(Opéra-Comique closed)|
|7 February 1978||Théâtre National de
l'Opéra de Paris
|31 July 1980||Bernard Lefort|
|September 1982||Interim committee: Paul Puaux, Jean-Pierre Leclerc,
Alain Lombard, Georges-François Hirsch
|1 August 1983||Massimo Bogianckino|
|24 September 1985|
|12 February 1986||Jean-Louis Martinoty|
|13 July 1989||(Opéra Bastille opens)|
|1 September 1989||Jean-Albert Cartier
(general administrator of the Palais Garnier)
|2 April 1990||Pierre Bergé (president)||Opéra de Paris
|15 May 1991||Georges-François Hirsch
(general administrator of the Palais Garnier)
|1 September 1992||Brigitte Lefèvre
(general administrator of the Palais Garnier)
|5 February 1994||Opéra National de Paris|
|15 February 1994||Jean-Paul Cluzel (inspector general of finances)|
|1 August 1995||Hugues Gall|
|September 2004||Gerard Mortier|
|1 August 2009||Nicolas Joel |
Other Parisian opera companies and theatres
In the period from 1725 to 1791 there were essentially four public theatres which were permitted in Paris:
- Opéra de Paris
In 1762, the Opéra-Comique merged with the Comédie-Italienne.
In 1791, the laws were changed allowing almost anyone to open a public theatre. This led to rapid growth in the number of theatres and companies and complexities in their naming. Theatres might burn down and be rebuilt using the name of an old or new company or patron. Some of the new theatres that appeared during this period include:
After about 1870, the situation was simpler with regard to opera, with primarily the Opéra and the Opéra-Comique in operation. The naming situation became somewhat confusing after the Opéra-Comique's theater (the second Salle Favart) burned on 25 May 1887, since the company began performing in other locations. Companies other than the Opéra producing operas or operettas at various theatres in this period included:
- Opéra-Comique at Salle Favart (2), Théâtre Lyrique, Théâtre du Chateau-d'Eau, Salle Favart (3)
- Opéra National Lyrique at Théâtre de la Gaîté
- Eden-Théâtre (Lohengrin, 1887)
- Opéra Populaire performing at Théâtre du Châtelet, Théâtre de la Gaîté, and Théâtre du Chateau-d'Eau
- Théâtre du Chateau-d'Eau
- Théâtre Lyrique performing at Salle de l'Athénée, Théâtre du Chateau-d'Eau, and Théâtre de la Renaissance
- Nouveau-Lyrique at Théâtre Taitbout
- Théâtre de l'Odéon (plays with incidental music by, e.g. Bizet, Fauré)
- Théâtre de la Ville
- Théâtre du Châtelet
- Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
- Interview with the President of the Board of the Opéra (French)
- Company profile, Tous à l'Opéra 2012 press release pp 52,53 (French)
- Opéra national de Paris website, 2012/13 season presentation (French)
- Johnson (2005) p. 15.
- Johnson (2005) p. 22.
- Johnson (2005) pp. 98–99.
- Johnson (2005) p. 23.
- Gourret (1985) p. 17.
- Harris-Warrick, Rebecca. "Paris. 2. 1669–1725" in Sadie (1992) 3: 856.
- Anthony, James R. (2001). "Paris. III. 1600–1723" in Sadie (2001).
- La Gorce, Jérôme de (2001). "Lully. (1) Jean-Baptiste Lully. 1. Life" in Sadie (2001).
- Harris-Warrick, Rebecca (1992). "Paris. 2. 1669–1725" in Sadie (1992) 3: 856–857.
- "Académie Royale de Dance, L'" in Craine and Mackrell (2000), p. 1.
- Costonis (1992); Astier (1998b).
- "Paris Opera Ballet" in Craine and Mackrell (2000), pp. 360–361; Christout (1998), pp. 87–88.
- Astier (1998a).
- Charlton, David (1992). "Paris. 4. 1789–1870." in Sadie (1992) 3: 866–867.
- Pitou (1983) 1: 38.
- "Book Reviews: Napoléon et l'Opéra: La politique sur la scéne, 1810–1815 by David Chaillou." The English Historical Review 122 (496): 486–490 (2007). doi:10.1093/ehr/cem021.
- Langham Smith, Richard (1992). "Paris. 5. 1870–1902." in Sadie (1992) 3: 874.
- "Opéra national de Paris – Histoire de l’Opéra national de Paris" at the official website (French). Retrieved 25 March 2010.
- Powell 2000, p. 3.
- Pitou (1983) 1: 30–31.
- Fontaine 2003, pp. 22–23.
- Levin, 2009, p, 382.
- Lacombe, Hervé. "The 'machine' and the state" in Charlton (2003), p. 27.
- Fontaine 2003, p. 23, gives the date as 12 July 1871.
- Pitou (1983) 1: 7.
- Bashford, Christina. "Camembert, Robert" in Sadie (1992) 1: 696–698.
- Pitou (1983) 1: 9.
- Rosow, Lois. "Fêtes de l'Amour et de Bacchus, Les" in Sadie (1992) 2: 173.
- Pitou (1983) 1: 11–12.
- Harris-Warrick, Rebecca. "Paris. 2. 1669–1725" in Sadie (1992) 3: 857.
- Pitou (1983) 1: 13, 26.
- Harris-Warrick, Rebecca. "Paris. 3. 1725–1789" in Sadie (1992) 3: 860–864.
- Pitou (1983) 1: 26.
- Pitou (1983) 1: 26–27.
- Pitou (1983) 1: 30.
- Gourret 1985, pp. 81–84
- Dickens, Charles (1883). Dickens's Dictionary of Paris, p. 221. London: Macmillan. Full view at Google Books.
- Pitou (1983) 1: 56.
- Pitou (1983) 1: 44.
- Pitou (1983) 1: 60.
- Wolff 1962, p. 561.
- Pitt, Charles. "Paris. 6. 20th century" in Sadie (1992) 3: 881.
- The information in the list of managing directors is from Fontaine 2003, pp. 22–23, and Levin 2009, p. 383, except as noted.
- Information obtained from the corresponding article (version 16 février 2012 à 14:17) in the French Wikipédia.
- Levin 2009, p. 382, says Pillet joined Duponchel and Monnais as a co-director on 1 June 1840, and Gerhard 1998, p. 35, says Pillet joined Duponchel without mentioning Monnais. Consistent with this date, Guest 2008, p. 326, mentions that in 1840 Pillet, "as Director of the Opera", sent an emissary to London to negotiate a reappearance of the ballerina Marie Taglioni at the Paris Opera.
- Fontaine 2003, p. 23, says Duponchel and Pillet became co-directors on 1 June 1841 (without Monnais). On this date Monnais was appointed to a position as Royal Commissioner (Walton 1898, p. 294). Fontaine, perhaps in error, omits the 1 June 1840 co-directorship of Duponchel, Monnais, and Pillet.
- Gerhard 1998, p. 35, says Duponchel retired in October 1841. Fontaine 2003, p. 23, gives the year 1843 for the beginning of Pillet's sole directorship, while Levin 2009, p. 383, gives 1 June 1842.
- Levin 2009, p. 383 says Duponchel and Roqueplan joined Pillet as directors on 1 August 1847, while Fontaine says Duponchel and Roqueplan took over as co-directors without Pillet on 31 July 1847.
- Fulcher 1987, p. 113, says that Duponchel and Roqueplan took over as directors on 24 November 1847, while Fontaine 2003, p. 23, and Levin 2009, p. 383, only give the month November 1847, and Gerhard 1998, p. 35, says Pillet retired in October 1847.
- Charlton, David; Johnson, Janet. "Paris. 4. 1789–1870." in Sadie (1992) 3: 870–873.
- Charlton, David; Johnson, Janet. "Paris. 4. 1789–1870." in Sadie (1992) 3: 873–874.
- Astier, Régine (1998a). "Académie Royale de Danse" in Cohen 1998, vol. 1, pp. 3–5.
- Astier, Régine (1998b). "Beauchamps, Pierre" in Cohen 1998, vol. 1, pp. 396–397.
- Charlton, David, editor (2003). The Cambridge Companion to Grand Opera. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-64118-0.
- Christout, Marie-Françoise (1998). "Paris Opera Ballet" in Cohen 1998, vol. 5, pp. 86–100.
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