Chance to discover France’s opera houses - and music - for free

Opera weekend provides all-ages access to a different cultural world and the different workers behind performances

Star dancer Guillaume Diop will take part in the event, which will include shows at the Palais Garnier

Opera houses across France are opening their doors this weekend, providing concerts and workshops for free. 

The 17th edition of the Tous à l'Opéra event is taking place from May 3 to May 5 and will see opera houses from Paris to Dijon involved. In total 28 opera houses across the country are taking part. 

The aim is to allow people who would not normally go to the opera gain an insight into a different cultural world.

Tying into Paris hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer, the theme of this year’s edition is ‘team spirit’. 

There will also be workshops, quizzes, and even a karaoke session in Paris.

Around 80,000 free tickets are available for shows, including at the main opera house in Paris, the Palais Garnier. 

Read more: Are theatre audiences in France better behaved than the UK or US?

Performances at some of the shows in Paris will be headed by 24-year old Guillaume Diop, the first black lead ‘star’ dancer. 

“It's a great initiative. There are a lot of people who have the impression that opera is a very distant world that doesn't necessarily suit them,” he told France Info

“Opera isn't just about dancers and singers. There are lots of very different trades and there are lots of different aspects to working in opera and I think it's cool to showcase that,” he added. 

“When you're a dancer, you tell stories with at least one partner, if not several. To tell a story, you need the collective,” said Mr Diop, about the weekend’s motif.

 “In addition to the dancers, to create a show you need stagehands, make-up artists, costume designers, people who take care of the sets - it's really a whole family that makes these shows possible,” he added.

More information is available on the official Tous à l’Opéra website, which contains information on tickets and information for each individual event.