Season 1 of “L’Opéra”, with Raphaël Personnaz and Ariane Labed, arrives today on OCS. The chain’s fourth original creation, the series takes us behind the scenes of the Opéra Garnier.
What is it about ?
At the Paris Opera, Zoé, a 35-year-old star dancer with a dazzling career, today lives in excess: too many parties, lovers, anguish … Because she no longer has the level , we want to fire her, but Zoe will fight against the institution, her peers and especially against herself to get a second chance. By his side, Flora, 19, a young black dancer, has just joined the corps de ballet and has only a few months to integrate and prove herself. And Sébastien, 38, the brand new Dance Director, flamboyant and ambitious, who wants to make the Opera shine in the firmament of global dance …
The Opera is broadcast every Tuesday from 8:40 p.m. on OCS Max. The entirety of Season 1 is available now on OCS. Episodes seen: 4/8
Who is it with?
For this ambitious series, created by Cécile Ducrocq, who previously worked on Le Bureau des Légendes, OCS appealed to beautiful people. In the role of Sébastien, the new dance director of the Opéra Garnier who wants to reform everything, we can find Raphaël Personnaz, who played in particular in Marius or L’affaire SK1.
As for the female characters, Ariane Labed, seen in Before Midnight and Marie Madeleine, slips into the tips of Zoé, this star dancer who will have to prove her place within the Opera. Finally Flora is embodied by the young Suzy Bemba.
Loris Freeman, Mehdi Djaadi, Yannick Renier, Sarah Le Picard, Adrien Dewitte and Hortense de Gromard complete the distribution.
Well worth a look ?
Who has never dreamed of going behind the scenes at the Opéra Garnier? This historical institution fascinates more than one, and it is not OCS that will say the opposite since the channel has chosen this universe as the subject of its fourth original creation.
And if the Opéra Garnier is often synonymous with rhinestones and sequins, it is behind the scenes that Cécile Ducrocq and her co-screenwriter Benjamin Adam wanted to explore. Thanks to their long documentation work, they have succeeded in offering us a series that is intended to be as close as possible to reality.
Like series like Hippocrates, which sought to show us the reverse side of the hospital system, L’Opéra explores the gloomy backstage of this fascinating institution. Ballets in tutus and classical music rub shoulders with strikes and unions.
And unlike many dance series (you can’t help but think of Tiny Pretty Things available on Netflix), here, no murders to solve or assassins to find. The drama is played out in reality and in the problems at the very heart of the Opera.
The writers have also chosen to talk about subjects that have caused a scandal in recent years. If the cult of the body is approached, it is above all the special pension scheme, or the place of minorities in the world of ballet that are attacked.
Through the character of Flora, a young dancer from the suburbs constantly confronted with ordinary racism, we explore this gloomy facet of classical brooms. A problem that is also still topical within the Opera, which in February 2020 established a “diversity referent” in order to encourage the entry of more non-white artists.
The characters, meanwhile, have been thought out with intelligence and evolve in a world far from the Manichaeism often attributed to the dramatic genre. It is the dance director, camped by Raphaël Personnaz, who is the best example.
Ambitious, with the objective of modernizing the Opera, he will find himself confronted with the power games of his hierarchy, and will have to make the hard decision to fire a principal dancer with whom he has been evolving for years.
If he doesn’t hesitate to resort to the lowest blows to get rid of her, is he really the villain of the story? Zoe, for whom doing pirouettes and pas de deux is becoming more and more difficult, isn’t she the real culprit? What still justifies keeping her within the Opera?
Thanks to the depth of the characters, the series captivates. And the actors, who have given everything to live up to their roles, fascinate.
In short, The Opera is a subtle dramatic fiction based on very well constructed characters. From the first minutes, we are carried away in the whirlwind that is the Opéra Garnier. A captivating series therefore, on which OCS seems to bet a lot since the channel has already renewed it, even before its broadcast, for a second season.