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France in focus

Celebrating 350 years of Paris's iconic Opera

This week, we're taking you on a tour of one of Paris's most iconic sites, as we mark the 350th anniversary of France's Opera. Created by the Sun King Louis XIV in 1669, the world's first permanent dance academy consists today of both the Garnier Palace, inaugurated in 1875, and the 30-year-old Bastille Opera.

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In this episode of France in Focus, author Claudine Colozzi gives us a behind-the-scenes tour and tells us about some of the memorable people who attended the Opera.

Finally, we take a look at the Opera in numbers. With 154 dancers who can change their pointe shoes four times during one performance, 10,000 pairs are used each season. They are a big part of the Opera's €220 million annual budget, the biggest in Europe.

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