France / Switzerland, 2017 (MIFF 2017, Documentaries)

Director: Jean-Stéphane Bron


'Always fascinating … a mosaic-like story of the people and hard work that together make it possible for the Paris Opera to put on season after season of high-quality and high-art live spectacles.' – The Hollywood Reporter

It's 2015 and at the Paris Opera, new director Stéphane Lissner is attempting to make his mark with a production of Schönberg's Moses and Aaron, featuring a live bull, while also dealing with an impending strike and worrying if the opera is pricing itself out of existence. Meanwhile, rising Russian baritone Micha Timoshenko begins at the Opera's Academy, with little French but big dreams, and choreographer Benjamin Millepied is about to shake everything up in the least expected way.

For fans of Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai's Reset (MIFF 2016), or Frederick Wiseman's La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet (MIFF 2010), Jean-Stéphane Bron's The Paris Opera takes the next cinematic step: expanding the focus of those earlier films to encompass the whole of the Opera National de Paris. With incredible access, Bron filmed over 16 months during an extraordinary season of upheaval for the company – and for the country, as terrorist attacks in Paris put everyone on edge – to produce an intricate, candid and often unexpectedly humorous examination of the day-to-day detail and drama of staging a show at one of the world's premiere cultural institutions.

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