The Odéon ‑ Théâtre de l'Europe

  • photo Laure Vasconi


    The renovation of the theatre (2003-2006) made it possible to modify the scene-room ratio. For the needs of contemporary scenography, and to simplify the reception of the spectacles from other theatres, it was decided to put the scene at horizontal (and on the level of the street, to facilitate the entry of the scenery).

  • photo laure Vasconi / une œuvre d'André Masson, 1965 © ADAGP, Paris 2014

    The Ceiling Painting

    The current ceiling (1965) is of Andre Masson. He took around the central topic Apollo-Sun, the figures of the Comedy and the Tragedy

  • photo Philippe Fourdan. Avec tous nos remerciements.

    The Outside

    The Theatre of Odéon, which opened its doors in 1782, is the oldest Parisian Theatre Auditorium still upright. The principal frontage is avoided of a rectilinear colonnade. Bridges, on each side, led then to coffees located in the buildings which flank the theatre, on the other side of the street.

  • photo Thierry Depagne

    The Roger Blin Auditorium

    Le Salon Roger Blin, à l'origine un petit foyer, ouvert sur le grand foyer du théâtre, créé à la fin du XIXe siècle, est aujourd'hui un espace de lectures et de rencontres. Il abrite aussi la librairie du théâtre.

  • photo Laure Vasconi

    The Hall

    Inside, a square hall, planted doric columns, opens with two symmetrical staircases.

  • photo Laure Vasconi


    After the fire of 1799, Chalgrin (the architect of the Triumphal arch) was charged by Napoleon of the rebuilding.

  • photo Thierry Depagne

    The Auditorium

    The room, of circular plan at the origin, in ellipse since the restoration of Chalgrin, is the first Parisian Auditorium to sit the spectators of the orchestra.

  • Photo Thierry Depagne

    Ateliers Berthier

    A warehouse for storing stage sets, built in 1895 by Charles Garnier for the Opéra de Paris (of which he is also the architect), and used as such until the 1950's, the Salle des Ateliers Berthier, on boulevard Berthier in the 17th arrondissement, was transformed into a public building in January of 2003.

The Odéon Theatre first opened in 1782 to house France's national theatre, the Comédie Française, and is an excellent example of 18th century architecture, located near the Luxembourg gardens and palace on Paris's Left Bank where it has been witness to many upheavals, both artistic and political. The Odéon has always been closely tied to the French State and is now one of the six national theatres in France fully funded by the Ministry for Culture. In 1990 it became the "Théâtre de l'Europe", to conduct the mission of "fostering joint projects with stage directors, actors, playwrights and other figures involved in the dramatic arts in Europe, to present new works and breathe new life into Europe's artistic heritage".

The Team

Luc Bondy

Pierre-Yves Lenoir

Communication Manager
Denis Bretin

Éric Bart

Margot Chancerelle

Technical Direction
Nicolas Minssen


The King's actors were provided with the first "monument/theatre" in Paris. It stood as the central feature in a town planning design for land owned by the Prince de Condé. The project was exemplary for both the scale in the urban setting and the harmonious proportions of the interior. It was also the first theatre where the audience in the stalls were seated on benches.


This nation shall have Paris as capital, but it shall not be called France, it shall be called Europe.

Victor Hugo, 1867

Since 1990 The Odéon's mission is to "bring life to the artistic heritage of Europe".