The Paris Opera
The Management and Governance
of a Major Cultural Institution

A book written by Philippe Agid &
Jean-Claude Tarondeau


Historical Models

Napoleon's semi-autocratic guardianship

The Imperial Academy of Music must reinforce the "lustre" of the Empire and the glory of the Emperor.

The regulations of 1807 offer the Imperial Academy of Music exclusivity or the lyrical genre, sung in French language, and excluding any spoken part. The French “grand opera” finds later on its roots both in the 17th and 18th century operas, and in the compulsory artistic regulations to be respected by authors to be staged at the Paris Opera.

The State subsidises the Imperial Academy and obliges private theatres to contribute to its funding.

Between 1800 and 1815, 40 new operas are presented on the Academy's stage. With the exception of Spontini’s La Vestale, most have now disappeared from the repertoire.

Portrait of Napoleon
Portrait of Napoleon