Paris Opéra strike enters second week

Paris Opéra strike enters second week


norman lebrecht

July 02, 2018

Where’s Macron when you need him?

One union is holding the whole house to ransom over a single pay grade.

This is a picture from Don Pasquale, which ought to be playing on July 12.

UPDATE: Apparently it will. Don Pasquale is at the Théatre Garnier, which is not hit by the strike. Yet.


  • Ludovic says:

    Nothing unusual here. This is the same usual French drama year after year. In spite of Macron’s attempts to reform the archaic and sclerotic French system and bring its citizens’ minds into the modern world, it is highly unlikely that he will succeed.

    France proves time after time that it prefers to remain isolated and locked in some sort of 1960’s time warp, with revolutionary workers waving red flags and chanting communist slogans, repeatedly striking and disrupting daily life. It would all look very funny if it weren’t so pathetic. Whether it is trains, universities, opera houses, radio and television networks, Air France, every company that wants to do business and show a profit is deemed the enemy of an old fashioned populace, most unable to say a fluent sentence in English, let alone understand through reading and listening that the world has long ago moved on from communist dogma and people demand rights and corporate change through dialogue and negotiation. In France the managers are as outdated, most coming from their Napoleonic state institutions, detached from reality and many of them too having poor or inferior foreign language skills and seeing the world through one dimensional glasses.

    France is an anachronism on both sides, whether worker or manager, and with a narrow world view and a very narrow education they just look more and more ridiculous and detached from global realities. Sad for a country that could have so much potential.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      On the other hand, labour productivity is higher in France and the Anglo-Saxon world, the French are better-off than the English, and inequality is lower than in either Britain or the US. Not bad for a country “doing everything wrong”.

    • Tsarina says:

      I’m afraid that is pretty much the case…

  • Sue says:

    None of this surprises me about France. Time for another revolution!!

    • John Borstlap says:

      But there is already a revolution going-on in France…. but not from the bottom up but from the top down. And the president has the mandate to do so – which is reflected in a great majority in the parliament. Macron is very busy with reforms, and also busy travelling around, to warm-up contacts, and to revive France’s presence. Also he presents himself as the new leader of Europe and the European Idea. Maybe if he wants to see Don Pasquale, he will treat that union as pertinently as he does the other unions. This crazy tradition of blackmailing and torpeding the system to get your payrise or to preserve your privilege, is an immature populist characteristic which is taken from the cupboard of clichées since 1789.

  • Zelda Macnamara says:

    Last time we had tickets for the Bastille (because we were on holiday there), the opera was cancelled at the last minute when we were all sitting in the audience waiting. Now, we are making a special journey from the UK for Boris Godunov on Friday. Who knows if we will see it? Or if we do, as an opera, or a concert version?

    • PB says:

      Well…. the Boris performance on the 26th June was cancelled and the 29th was reduced to a concert performance. However last night (2nd) the performance took place as normal; we are hoping that the last 3 scheduled performances will take place! But even as performers, we won’t know for certain until the day……… for the concert performance last week, even though the audience made disgrunteld noises when the announcement was made before the start, the performance had an intensity one often achieves in these circumstances and the audience enthusiastically showed its approval at the end. I sincerely hope you get your staged performance but in the event of a concert performance, we will still emdeavor to give you a worthwhile experience!