Opéra Underground, while very much part of Opéra de Lyon, offers an alternative international musical programme (jazz, contemporary and world music). Its three performance spaces – the main stage, the Amphitheatre and the Péristyle terrace – are very different with their own feel and atmosphere.
This is, without a doubt, the beating heart of Opéra Underground, a kind of laboratory full of musical expression. The intimate size of this 200-seat amphitheatre, located in the basement of the opera house, allows artists to really communicate with their audience, and gives those watching the feeling that they are part of the show. A sense of closeness, of conviviality, helped by the presence of a bar next door where people can have a drink before and during the concerts. The Amphi is a bit like being at home but with a musical programme designed for you.
The Main Hall
The jewel in the Opéra de Lyon’s crown, conceived by Jean Nouvel: a black-clad shell in the Italian style. Aside from the way it looks, the design gives the 1,100-seat hall (with its stalls and six balconies accessed from the opera house entrance via escalators) an intimate feel and real audience comfort. In the main hall, you are never more than 25 metres from the stage. It is here, of course, that the operas, ballets and classical concerts of the Opéra de Lyon programme are staged but, several times a year, it is also the setting for Opéra Underground’s concerts. A way to open up to other styles which suggests, like Jean Nouvel’s design, that opera and the performing arts are still very current today.
Tucked underneath the arches, this black granite terrace runs around Jean Nouvel’s redesigned opera house. A popular spot for street dancers, it is also an integral part of summer for many Lyon residents. On balmy evenings the Péristyle presents its own festival, put together by Opéra Underground. Whether you come along for a drink, to listen to a jazz group or a world music DJ, you are guaranteed a wonderful evening.