The Paris Opéra was founded in 1669, under the title, l'Académie d'Opéra. Under its various names and locations, composers from Rameau, Lully, Meyerbeer, and eventually Messaien led the evolution of French opera through the centuries at the Opéra de Paris.
In 1994 the Paris Opéra became the Opéra National de Paris. The change of name indicated its intention to extend its scope beyond the confines of the capital.
Having been general secretary for the Réunion des Théâtres Lyriques Nationaux, assistant to Rolf Liebermann at the Théâtre National de L'Opéra and the director of Geneva's Grand Théâtre, Hugues R. Gall became director of the Paris Opera in 1995.
The choreographer, teacher and former dancer at the Opera Ballet Company, Brigitte Lefèvre became Director of Dance at the Paris Opera. Before taking up this post, she had been principal inspector for dance at the Direction of Music and Dance at the Ministry of Culture and General Administrator, Assistant Director responsible for dance of the Opéra Garnier.
In 2004 Gerard Mortier, former director of the Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie in Brussels, of the Salzburg Festival and the Ruhrtriennial Festival, was appointed to the head of the Paris Opera.
In 2009, the international-known stage director, Nicolas Joel left the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse to become director of the Paris Opera. Philippe Jordan was appointed to his side as Musical Director.
After serving as Company Secretary at the Théâtre d'Aubervilliers, co-director at the Centre Dramatique national de Nice and the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, director of the Théâtre du Châtelet, general manager of the Orchestre de Paris, director of the Festival International d'Aix-en-Provence and then general manager and artistic director of Milan's Teatro alla Scala, Stéphane Lissner became director of the Opéra national de Paris in 2014.