Place de l'Opera-Comedie in Montpellier

A happy return to Montpellier’s Opéra-Comédie

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Performances in Montpellier in 2022 were very promising

Last year, I attended one opera (Handel, Giulio Cesare in Egitto) and one concert (“de rentrée”, the opening of the fall season) at the beautiful Opéra-Orchestre National de Montpellier. Both performances were exceptional in my judgment. Reviewers (see Opera Online and Res Musica) agree about the Michieletto production of Giulio Cesare conducted by Jaroussky; I haven’t seen reviews of the orchestral event.

Both times, the whole experience at the opera house was a joy. There’s a lively atmosphere on the plaza at all hours, and certainly after performances when the sidewalk restaurants and bars offer an opportunity to relax, reflect upon and discuss the performance.

A return in 2023 for Gluck

So, I was looking forward to returning, and booked Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride. At my Sunday matinee, there was an extra treat: a pre-performance lecture by Jean-Jacques Groleau. This staging was a coproduction of the Opéra Orchestre national Montpellier Occitanie with the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen and the Teatro de la Maestranza de Sevilla. Felicitous cooperation, a wonderful production (R. Villalobos) and performance, and more happy hours at what’s now a favorite venue of mine. Can hardly wait to see what’s on next season!

Montpellier via Gare St-Roch

I came to Montpellier by train, and was very happy to see that all the mess and detours of last year’s construction projects on the tram lines between station Saint-Roch and the Place de la Comédie were cleared up. There was a straight shot, a straight line of sight between the two, making it much easier to appreciate the attractiveness of the grand Place. I really enjoyed my walk back to the station in the evening, short though it was.

Why not stay in Montpellier?

Before the concert, I got to visit with a friend met last September, and convinced her to come to dinner the next night at the apartment I’d booked in Nîmes. Why book a flat in Nîmes when attending opera in Montpellier? I’ll explain it to you – in my post on a return to Nîmes. If you’re planning travel to the region, read about the easiest airport connections.

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