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France’s Ministry of Culture Reduces Paris Opera’s Funding

To save money, the ministry is reducing Paris Opera’s budget by six million euros


As the Paris Opera has gained considerable profit for the first time since 2017, the French Ministry of Culture has announced a reduction of six million euros in the company’s budget, radiofrance reports

This comes after the cancellation of more than 200 million credits, imposed on the Ministry of Culture, resulting in nationwide budget cuts to large cultural institutions. 

Similarly, the budget of the Comédie-Française will be reduced by five million euros, the Théâtre national de Chaillot will see its budget drop by €500,000, and the Louvre Museum will see a three million euro reduction in subsidies. 

After several years of increases, Paris Opera’s state subsidy was €99.8 million in 2023, which saw them close the budget year with a significant net profit of €2.3 million, wrote the Diapason magazine; the opera house recently revealed its 2024/25 season.

Due to the credit cancellation, the French Ministry must save enough for a total of €204.3 million in savings. To do this, the French Minister of Culture Rachida Dati recently announced drawing from the ministry’s precautionary reserves. 

As reported in The Times, music audiences across France have argued the decision to reduce subsidies for the arts, claiming that opera will risk disappearing in all but Paris and other big cities if public funding continues to decrease.

Additionally, music organizations stated in a joint declaration, that this was “an absolutely unprecedented level of budget cuts … [which] threatens the entire ecosystem already largely destabilized by the effects of the complex exit from the health crisis, and inflationary crises and more recent energy sources,” Diapason added.

According to the French Ministry of Culture, funding has steadily increased, with its main priorities to be financed through a rise of €241 million to support “a lively, open cultural policy rooted in all territories.”

The endeavor will include strengthening creative industries with over €41 million, and support for artists, which will gain part of over €84 million alongside other categories such as trades and education. 

“We are aware that the State is entering a phase of budgetary tightening and it is likely that the Opera, as a major operator and a culturally healthy one, will be put to good use,” explained Paris Opera’s director, Alexander Neef in radiofrance. 

“[Our] thanks to revenues, which have developed favorably; thanks to increasing patronage; [and] thanks to visits to the Palais Garnier,” Neef added. “And thanks to the State which, for the first time in 15 years, had slightly increased our operating subsidy.”

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