Paris Opera:
1750 Season


Opera, which was transferred to Paris from the Royal administration in 1750, recorded quite detailed financial and statistical data starting from the relevant season.

The Opera, which started the season with a minor loss, will become more financially indebted as the years go by, and inevitably, in 1780, it will be returned to the Royal administration.

The only detail that interests us and will focus on in this article will be the costs of Opera, which hosted enthusiasts from all walks of life 270 years ago.

Note: All currencies are Livre. Detailed translation is explained at the end of the article.

1750-1751 Season in Numbers:

Opera and Opera-ballet

The first of three tragedies staged, based on the book by the Marquis de Brassac. Leandre et Hero The premiere took place in May 1750, the piece was staged a total of 17 times. in the tank 36 times, Thetis et Pelee and met with the audience 24 times.


Les Caracteres de l'Amore The ninth and tenth screenings were made. Les fetes Venitiennes Ballet's premiere with a new production took place in June 1750, and it was staged 41 times in total. First staged in 1749. Le Carnaval du Parnasse On the other hand, it met with the audience 1750 times in the 17 season.

Prom and Concerts

Between 11 November 1750 and 23 February 1751, 20 public balls were held. Also, the Academy's “Concerts Spirituels” organization, entrepreneurs MM. Received license payments for concerts of the same name by Royer and Capperan outside of Paris.


The lodge was rented by 73 high-ranking nobles. Ticket sales revenues were three times the box revenues. 148 people provided free entry in the relevant season.


Conducted under the direction of M. Andre Cheron, the orchestra was divided into two with a large and small formation and consisted of 44 artists in total. While only 33 of the 3 musicians who took part in the balls were in the opera staff, the rest were freelance musicians.


It consisted of 22 male and 18 female artists. Artist pay scales are as follows:

CategoryLower BoundaryUpper Limit
Solo Singer12004000
solo dancer12005000
solo singer13004000
solo dancer7003000

Technical crew

Opera's technical service, decor and stages were run by the Arnoult family. The eldest of the family, who was an engineer, was paid 3000 livs a year.

Administrative staff

There were 9 staff members who took care of the lodge and rentals. In addition to 5 gatekeepers, 2 chief accountants (B. Neuville, la Porte) were on duty.


CityLicenseeAnnual Fee
LyonM. Mango1200
MarseilleMM. Antoine and Mangot1200
Bordeaux Le S. Louis d'Hyeres1895
Guyenne et LanguedocLe S. Petit de Boulard1200
Provence, Dauphine, BourgogneLe S.Antoine Gruant2175

Salon Palais-Royal

The venue had a capacity of approximately 700 seats and 600 standing spectators.


The most popular production with 1750 ticket sales in the 51-69.775 season Thetis et Pelee has been a work. Despite this, it was staged 24 times. The piece that met the audience the most (41 performances) was Fetes Venitiennes. Friday evenings remained the most popular day in terms of participation.

TopicTuesdayThursdayCumaSundayAll Days
Total Revenue68.27324.122128.91782.131303.443
Number of Performances48225048168

Income statement

Clarification1749 17501750 1751
Ticket sales202.705304.545
Lodge Rental47.24596.258
Concert Spirituals8.066-
Opera text sales-7.779
Performance for the benefit of the artist4.0162.216
Warehouse sales3.908-
Royal Fund42.888-
The Poor and the Hospitals Donate46.91262.882
Singer, musician, dancer106.030135.533
Annual bonus8.30821.725
Unusual bonus: Singer, musician, dancer7.1009.050
Bread, wine and shoes: solo singer2.0221.500
administrative staff10.77823.467
factory worker-11.868
Prom expenses13.08811.782
service providers3.2473.002
Other expenses
Miscellaneous services and goods68.38887.407
new year gifts-3.196
prom dinner-239
loan interest/payment5.432-
Profit and loss..

Lira and Value for Money

In 1750 1 pound About 0.33 grams of gold could be bought with it. Considering that the price of gram gold in our country was 450 TL on the day I wrote the article, 1 livre would be approximately 150 TL today.

In order to make a more robust calculation, it is necessary to take into account the labor values. For this, Viscount George d'Avenel Historie economique It contains very useful information.

In 1764, a nurse in Paris could earn 7 lbs per month.

1 Liv = 20 sols (penny)

A soldier's daily wage in 1750 was about 4 sols. This makes 6 lbs per day.

In 1747, 500 grams of butter were sold in Paris for 10 sols.

In 1750, a cow would fetch about 100 lbs, and a horse for 250 lbs.


Albinsson, Staffan. “The Paris Opera in 1750–1751. An Attempt at an Annual Report.” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, vol. 49, no. 2, 2018, p. 191–216


Your email address Will not be published.