Opéra National de Lyon is an opera company in Lyon, France which performs in the Nouvel Opéra, a modernized version in 1993 of the original 1831 opera house.
The inaugural performance of François-Adrien Boïeldieu's La Dame blanche was given on 1 July 1831. The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries saw some significant French premieres of major operas including Richard Wagner's Die Meistersinger in 1896, Giordano's Andre Chenier in the following year, and Moussorgsky's Boris Godunov in 1913. In addition, many world premieres such as Arnold Schoenberg's Erwartung (1967) have been presented.
In the years after the 1969 appointment of Louis Erlo as general director, many innovative productions and premieres of both French operas and Twentieth Century operas have been staged. Two significant French artists who have been associated with the Opéra in recent years are the stage director, Laurent Pelly, and the soprano, Natalie Dessay.
Past principal conductors at the company have included André Cluytens, John Eliot Gardiner, Kent Nagano, Louis Langrée, and Iván Fischer. Since 2008, the principal conductor is Kazushi Ono, with an initial contract of 5 years.
The associated Lyon Opera Ballet has a postmodern and contemporary repertoire under artistic director Yorgos Loukos.
At the front of the Opéra are 8 statues of the Muses, but Urania is missing. There are two major reasons for the omission: symmetry, and the fact that Urania is not related to the arts performed in the Opéra.