Lars Woldt (L), Anna Prohaska rehearse Mozart's 'The Abduction from the Seraglio'
Paris - Arab Today
The Paris Opera house unveils its line-up for its new season on Wednesday, offering cut-price tickets to young fans as it seeks to attract a new generation of opera buffs.
New director Stephane Lissner, formerly head of the Scala in Milan, will offer 18 new productions for the 2015/2016 season and re-run 14 others, despite budgetary constraints.
"Faced with a crisis, you have to go on the attack and produce more," said Lissner.
"This generates financing, brings in the public, sponsors, co-productions, television, tours," he added.
Lissner promised to present a "balanced" programme with more traditional productions interspersed with "artists who question the world without taboos."
"My choice was to present both Schoenberg's 'Moses und Aron' and Verdi's popular trilogy," he said.
The Paris Opera -- spread out over two sites in the capital including the famous Garnier Palace in central Paris -- hiked prices last year.
But it is now poised to introduce a new youth policy already instituted by Lissner in Milan.
The average age of the Paris Opera's 750,000 spectators per year is 46, which is younger than the median age for classical concerts in France that currently stands at 61.
But in a bid to attract even younger spectators, the opera will put on 13 preview showings (25,000 seats) at the reduced price of 10 euros ($11) for opera-goers under the age of 28.
Lissner has vowed to make the Paris Opera the world's "number one" destination for opera buffs with "the best conductors, the best singers and the best directors."
The 2015/2016 season will be dominated by Verdi with two new productions of "Rigoletto" and "Il Trovatore", as well as a re-run of "La Traviata."
Among the more "radical" directors lined up will be Poland's Krzysztof Warlikowski, who will direct a version of Bela Bartok's "Bluebeard's Castle."