Glossary

A piece of music composed for a solo voice. Among the most famous opera arias: “Habanera” from Bizet’s acclaimed opera Carmen.

Gallery overlooking the stalls which extends around the sides to the front of the stage. At Lorraine National Opera, several balconies with different names are located above each other: The Balcony, the First Gallery, the Second Gallery and the Third Gallery (also known as the "the Gods" or "Heaven").

A person who writes and develops a piece of music. Many composers are also instrumentalists.

The area backstage from where a production is managed. The stage manager gives cues to all the technical and artistic teams for sets and lighting changes and the numerous stage entrances and exits.

Stage apparel created by the costumier and made by the couturiers. These vary according to the genre of work and can sometimes be predefined by roles: certain characters of the commedia dell’arte have traditional costumes, such as Harlequin or Pierrot.

Meaning "divine". It refers to an opera singer who is renowned for her talent and reputation.

Dramaturgy is the art or study of dramatic composition. At the opera, the dramaturge is the director’s literary and artistic advisor.

The part of the theatre above the stage used to retract the sets. The flies allow items to be stored in the rafters to facilitate the rapid changing of sets.

The place where the audience gathers during the intervals. Its white walls are accented with gold to reflect the light and highlight its splendour. It draws its originality from its Rococo style and the decorative details that symbolise the theatre.

Cables which the stagehands use to move the sets. In French, these can also be referred to as “guindes” but never “cordes” as that brings bad luck!

A pause between two acts of an opera. An occasion to have a cocktail or admire the view over the Place Stanislas from the Opera’s magnificent Foyer.

In French theatre vocabulary, côté jardin (garden side) refers to the left side of the stage as seen from the auditorium, as opposed to côté cour (courtyard side), which designates the right side. These two terms enable the director and the performers to communicate more easily than if they were speaking of the left and right sides, which depend upon the orientation of the speaker.

In French theatre vocabulary, côté cour (courtyard side) refers to the right side of the stage as seen from the auditorium, as opposed to côté jardin (garden side), which designates the left side. These two terms enable the director and the performers to communicate more easily than if they were speaking of the left and right sides, which depend upon the orientation of the speaker.

A literary text, almost always in verse, that is an essential component of an opera. It contains the sung dialogue and any spoken passages as well as expeditious stage directions.

According to the director’s wishes and instructions, the lighting designer creates an atmosphere with different effects. Lighting plays an important part in any production.

A performance that takes place in the afternoon as opposed to one that takes place in the evening. At Lorraine National Opera, matinées generally begin at 3 pm.

There are many operatic genres: operetta (the forebear of today’s stage musicals), opera buffa (light and comical), opera seria (noble and serious), opera-ballet, lyrical tragedy, dramma giocoso (burlesque)… There’s a style for everyone!

In addition to a musical ensemble, “orchestra” also refers to the seats in the lowest tier of the auditorium. Orchestra seats are popular with those who want to be as close to the artists as possible.

A dream of the curious who yearn to see this mysterious bar. Located on the fourth floor of Lorraine National Opera, it once had a function akin to the public foyer. Only audiences of the most modest means had access to it. Today it is inaccessible to visitors.

An instrumental composition most often played at the beginning of a concert, opera, cantata (a poem set to music and sung) or oratorio (a work performed without staging, costumes, or sets).

In architecture, a gallery of columns surrounding the exterior or interior of a building in front of the perimeter wall. At Lorraine National Opera, it is the first hall where the box offices are located.

During a performance, when scenes change between acts, the curtain drops and the musicians stop playing. Behind the curtain, the stagehands, props men and women and dressers go into overdrive! In the auditorium, however, unlike during an interval, the audience cannot leave their seats because these pauses last only a few minutes.

The much-awaited first performance of an opera production. The entire team along with journalists are present. The audience’s reaction at the premiere is often an indicator of a production’s future success.

All the things on stage that are not part of the set. They are distinguishable from the set because the can be handled by the actors during the performance. As the name suggests, a prop is not essential, it is used to enhance a scene.

A key event in the preparation of an opera. When the production is ready, there will be a run-through (without music), a piano rehearsal (a run-through in costumes with just a piano accompaniment), a pre-dress rehearsal (a run-through in costumes accompanied by the entire orchestra) and a dress rehearsal (the same as the pre-dress rehearsal but this time with a public audience).

To embellish or decorate a room in a building or on a theatre stage and reproduce it.

There are a multitude of different skilled trades at the opera: Stagehand, flyman, dressmaker, dresser, makeup artist, librarian of musical scores...

The entire stage and backstage areas. The French word “plateau” can also refer to the entire cast of an opera.

The range of notes produced by a voice in a homogeneous way. Vocal technique makes it possible to increase that range by working on flexibility and control. The artists in the chorus cover four tessitura, from the highest to the lowest: soprano, alto, tenor and bass.

Available at each concert or production. It contains a note from the director, the biographies of the singers, the origins of the work or its historical context. Opera programmes may also include the libretto.

The uppermost level of a theatre’s auditorium above the boxes and balconies. It bears this name due to the wire mesh which prevented people in the audience from throwing their food as a reaction to the quality of the performance! This section of the theatre is the least expensive given its distance from the stage.

The areas located on each side of the stage and set aside for the storage of props and sets. They also allow the performers to prepare for their entrance on stage.

A German expression used to wish success. At the theatre, saying "good luck" is deemed to be bad luck!

See also