Grand Théâtre de Genève, Geneva

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 6 Reviews

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  • Grand Théâtre de Genève on a rainy day, Oct 08
    Grand Théâtre de Genève on a rainy day,...
    by MM212
  • It was raining in Geneva... (Oct 08)
    It was raining in Geneva... (Oct 08)
    by MM212
  • 3. Chorus and soloists taking their bows
    3. Chorus and soloists taking their bows
    by Nemorino
  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Stage door at the Grand Théâtre de Genève

    by Nemorino Updated Feb 14, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1. Waiting at the stage door after the performance
    2 more images

    Photos:
    1. Waiting at the stage door after the performance.
    2. Sign on the stage door (daytime).
    3. Bicycle parking near the stage door.

    The stage door ("Entrée des Artistes") of the Grand Théâtre de Genève is on the west side of the building, off to the left as you face the front entrance, on the street called Boulevard du Théâtre.

    Update: New telephone number as of March 1, 2013: +41 22 322 50 50

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    Verdi's Don Carlo in Geneva

    by Nemorino Updated Feb 14, 2013

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1. In the gilded lobby waiting for Don Carlo
    3 more images

    Photos:
    1. In the gilded lobby waiting for Verdi's Don Carlo.
    2. With the opera program they also offer a CD, which most people buy, called "une heure avant. . ." Essentially it's the same introductory talk you can hear an hour before every performance, with a pianist playing musical illustrations, but it's a studio recording made shortly before the premiere. (I've just been listening to it again; it's insightful and informative.)
    3. Chorus and soloists taking their bows at the end of Verdi's Don Carlo.
    4. Review of Verdi's Don Carlo in the September issue of Magazine Opéra. Their reviewer attended on the same evening I did.

    This was one of the better Don Carlo productions that I have seen in recent years, especially in comparison with the weak efforts in Strasbourg, Frankfurt and Dresden. (I'm talking about the staging now, not the singing.)

    This Geneva production was first created in 2002, and now revived for another run in 2008. It provides for rapid scene changes with simple means, just some foldable red partitions that can be rearranged quickly to create areas of different shapes and sizes appropriate to the various scenes, supplemented by a few simple accessories: a cross for the monastery, two benches for the castle garden, an immense sea of scarlet velvet cloth with the King Philip II knelling in the middle, above everyone else, to preside over the burning of the heretics in the Autodafé scene. This same scene made clear how he was exploiting his lovely young French wife to legitimize his torture of the heretics, making her stand clearly visible at the edge of the pit where the miscreants were being burned alive.

    Update: New telephone number as of March 1, 2013: +41 22 322 50 50

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    Grand Théâtre de Genève

    by Nemorino Updated Feb 14, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1. Grand Th����tre de Gen��ve
    3 more images

    Photos:
    1. Grand Théâtre de Genève.
    2. Looking sideways at the façade.
    3. The Grand Théâtre seen through the trees from halfway up the hill on Rampe de la Treille.
    4. The Stage Tower, a typical feature of theaters and opera houses all over Europe.

    Opera came late to Geneva. It was forbidden, like most other earthly diversions, during the grim era of the religious reformer John Calvin (1509-1564), and for around two centuries thereafter.

    The great French author Voltaire (1694-1778) is generally credited with putting on the first opera performances while he was living in exile in Geneva and vicinity in the 1750s, 60s and 70s.

    The first theater in Geneva (outside the city walls, actually) wasn't built until 1766.

    From 1872 to 1879 an opera house was built on the site of the current one, at Place de Neuve, but it was an uninspired scaled-down imitation of the Opéra Garnier in Paris. When that one burned down in 1951 it was rebuilt with some important changes, and the result is the current Grand Théâtre de Genève, which reopened in 1962 with the five-act French version of Verdi's Don Carlos, even though construction work was still going on.

    The current Grand Theater really is grand in a number of ways. It is beautiful inside and out, and it has the largest stage in Switzerland, with plenty of space above and below and behind and on the sides for all the latest stage machinery, which was modernized once again in 1998.

    And it is democratic. You can see and hear perfectly from all 1500 seats, which is by no means true of all European opera houses. (Have a look at the notorious Teatro alla Scala in Milan for a particularly grotesque example of the contrary.)

    Of course just having a great building doesn't guarantee having a great opera house. You also have to put on great productions, and this started happening in Geneva around 1980 when Hugues Gall (born 1940) was named director of the Grand Théâtre de Genève, a post he held for fifteen years until 1995.

    (After that he moved to Paris, where he was the director of the Opéra national de Paris, comprising both the Bastille and Garnier opera houses, from 1995 to 2004.)

    Update: New telephone number as of March 1, 2013: +41 22 322 50 50

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    le Grand Théâtre

    by MM212 Updated Nov 16, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Grand Th����tre de Gen��ve on a rainy day, Oct 08
    1 more image

    Inspired by l'Opéra Garnier in Paris, le Grand Théâtre de Genève opened its doors in 1873 with the opera Guillaume Tell by Rossini. It is the city's main opera venue. The theatre suffered from a damaging fire in 1951, after which it was restored to its original form. The façades remained intact, but the interior had to be rebuilt.

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    GRAND THEATRE DE GENEVA

    by Hosell Written Jan 12, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This beautiful Theatre was opened in 1,874 replaced the Theatre de Nueve.It has a capacity for 1,500 people and is one of best operas houses in Europe right now.If you have the chance ,come to spend a night here.I didn't had the chance to do it,but I would like to see the interior of this beautiful building and see a representation here!.

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    Grand Theatre

    by traveloturc Written Jul 30, 2006

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    grand theater

    the Grand Theatre of Geneva on Place Neuve where the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande often performs concerts, one of Europe's best classic orchester.Beautiful Building in a peaceful atmosphere.

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