If you attended the season's last concert on Saturday 27 June, you probably noticed how busy were the teams of the Opéra Comique in order for the evening to be an unforgettable event. You also learnt that Olivier Mantei succeeded Jérôme Deschamps as director of our house on June 28th, followed by the closing of the theater for 18 months of works interspersed with special events.
We still have to tell you of the unprecedented removal so that the works could begin on time, that is on July 1st. Only three days to pack all that remained inside the theater, which had to be left empty for the workers on July 1st in the morning. Three days to dismantle the concert installation and technical equipment and pack what was left in the offices: from the stage to the flies, from the underpart of Salle Favart to the costume workshop, from the ticket office to the rehearsal rooms and the little theater, nothing could be stored. Not the least spotlight, prop, costume, chair, desk or book, not even the housekeeper who is usually the last person to remain on the stage once everybody has left the auditorium.
Three days of intense activity that led to a transition in proper form. The first pickaxe and hammer strokes began as soon as July 1st. The protective hoarding along the façade was extended up to Rue Marivaux. The floorings, stairs and marbles were covered with wooden protections in the twinkling of an eye. The big bang is underway.
The carefully labeled seats of the orchestra area are being dismantled, the hangings in the boxes removed, the chandeliers set down and the gildings taken off. The theater already looks spectacularly different after fifteen days. The walls of the auditorium will be left exposed for the passage of ventilation ducts. A shaft is to be drilled in the costume workshop in order to connect two floors.
The Opéra Comique offices have taken up residence at 21 rue du Sentier where, we hope, you will come for surprising events as from next September. Until then, you are invited to follow the furtherance of the works through photos and discover your favorite opera house as you have never seen it before!