Sweeping in scope yet full of intimate moments, Film Movement’s The Paris Opera, offers a candid look behind the scenes of one of the world’s foremost performing arts institutions. Over the course of one tumultuous season, director Jean-Stéphane Bron nimbly juggles multiple storylines, from ballet and opera rehearsals, to strike negotiations, last minute crises and ticket disputes, revealing the dedication of the talented personnel who bring breathtaking spectacles to the stage night after night.
It’s Autumn 2015 and, at the Paris Opera, new director Stéphane Lissner is putting the finishing touches to his first press conference. Backstage, artists and crew diligently prepare to raise the curtain on a new season with Schönberg’s opera, Moses and Aaron. However, the announcement of a strike and arrival of a 2000-pound bull in a supporting role complicate matters greatly. As the season progresses, more and more characters appear, playing out the human comedy in the manner of a documentary Opera. Enter promising young Russian singer, Mikhail Tymoshenko, who begins at the Opera’s Academy; in the hallways of Opera Bastille, his destiny will cross paths with that of Bryn Terfel, one of the greatest voices of his time. And Lissner will have to weather star choreographer Benjamin Millepied jumping ship soon after taking over as director of ballet at Palais Garnier. But when the terrorist attack at The Bataclan plunges the city into mourning, the company recognizes the show must go on.
And it does.