OnlyLyon - No. 2016 : Press kit 2016





An impressive size and impressive facilities

27 000 sq. m

180 m long

90 m large

37 m high

Permanent exhibition space (approx. 3 000 sq. m)

300 seat auditorium

25 000 sq. m garden

600 solar panels

The Opera of Lyon

Lyon is the leading artistic city

of France (outside of Paris) ahead of Bordeaux and Strasbourg.
Source: Journal des Arts


Culture policy: the Lyon model inspires Europe

Since the beginning of the 2000s, Lyon has been implementing a cultural cooperation charter. The objective is to involve cultural structures in the social cohesion of the metropolis. Twenty‑two institutions have signed an agreement with the city, undertaking to enlarge their audiences by attracting more disadvantaged segments of the population. This culture policy has served as an example to several European cities. For example, Helsinki, the capital of Finland, has drawn inspiration from the Lyon model, which is recognized on the international cultural scene.

The cultural assets of Lyon


Did you know ?

The National Orchestra of Lyon was the first European orchestra to perform in China, back in 1979.

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Institutions with international reach

Every year, Lyon’s main cultural institutions receive almost a million visitors. Each participating in their own way to Lyon’s international renown and economic development. Here’s a closer look at four of them.

The cultural assets of Lyon


Musée des Confluences opened in December 2014 and since then it has become one of the city’s most recognisable symbols because of its unique design and purpose: to combine science and society and to bring the two together. Its name, ‘Confluence’ is not just a nod to its location; it is a place where knowledge is shared, minds are opened and work is achieved. Musée des Confluences brings science to the people.

« Incredibly beautiful »
Musée des Confluences, is an example of striking and unparalleled architecture located at the entrance to the city, where the Rhone and Saone rivers meet. Austrian agency Coop Himmelb(l)au designed this fusion of glass crystal and steel bringing together mineral and air elements. This exceptional architecture combines an impressive aesthetic with technical prowess while being highly functional as if to echo the project’s modernity and unique character: “We are very proud of it because it is an incredibly beautiful project.” enthused the Director of Coop Himmelb(l)au, Wolf D. Prix.

The museum houses over two million objects that relate the history of our planet and humanity. The museum is divided into four exhibitions and it focuses on eclecticism. Visitors can see the fossil reconstruction of three women, aged over 25,000 years old, over 2,000 mummified animals, Berliet engines, microscopes, meteorites and Senoufo masks.

Diverse collections
Located on the museum’s 2nd floor, the permanent collection offers over 3000 sq. m. of objects devoted to the human adventure. It is divided into 4 themes:

• Origins, stories from around the world
• Species, the woven fabric of life
• Societies, the theatres of Mankind
• Eternity, visions of beyond.

Four collections, four themes :

Life sciences: vertebrates – mammals, birds, fish, reptiles – and invertebrates (mollusques, crustacés ou insectes).
Earth sciences: palaeontology, osteology, mineralogy/petrology and anthropology.
Science and techniques: scientific instruments and technical innovations, especially those made in Lyon. From the sundial to the Martian robot, homage is paid to the universal inventiveness of Mankind.
Human sciences: the museum inherited collections from the Musée Guimet (former Natural History Museum), assembled in the 19th century by scientists, missionaries and explorers who had gone in search of other societies.


The Opera of Lyon is the leader opera house in France after Paris thanks to audacious, diverse programming, some of the most inventing directors of the moment, a virtuoso conductor (Kazushi Ono) and remarkable new production.

Rebuild in 1993 by the famous architect Jean Nouvel, the Lyon Opera House perfectly blends tradition and innovation : the original walls are topped with an ultramodern glass dome. Featuring both opera and dance performances, each season, the Opera of Lyon offers classics, rare works and new productions on a theme that resonates with current affairs. Since Serge Dorny was appointed as Director in 2003, the Opera of Lyon has taken a step forward by opening up to new audiences, thanks to very affordable ticket priced, starting at 5 euros. Result: attendance is up, with more than 85,000 spectators a year.

Lyon is the leading artistic city

The Opera of Lyon also engages in numerous international co-productions with the Metropolitan Opera of New York, The English National Opera of London and others. At the beginning of 2014, the Opera of Lyon and the Scala of Milan thus joined forces to offer a revisited version of the Comte d'Ory by Rossini. And over the summer, the orchestra gave three performances of The Tales of Hoffmann in Tokyo.

The Opera of Lyon also features a ballet company directed by Yorgos Loukos. The 30 dancers have both a solid classical background and openness to all the contemporary choreographic languages. The Ballet of Lyon tours the world and has carved out an excellent reputation for itself by including in its repertory works by major choreographers, poised to be the classics of the future. From Trisha Brown to William Forsythe and Maguy Marin, they all entrust the Ballet of Lyon with their masterpieces.


description de l’imageTélécharger le dossier de presse Opéra de Lyon

In addition to its residence in Lyon’s 8th district, Maison de la Danse will soon benefit from a new rehearsal and creative space in the former Musée Guimet, whose glass conservatory that has impressed generations of visitors. This new venue will facilitate yet more creation in Lyon and foster dance of all kinds: contemporary, classic, hip hop and even acrobatics.


With 270,000 admissions per year, the Lyon Museum of Fine Arts is the cultural institution that welcomes the most visitors to the metropolis. This museum is unique, in terms of the architectural quality of the Palais Saint‑Pierre where it is located, and in terms of the size of its collections, which are some of the finest in Europe.

Created in 1803 and completely renovated in 1998, the Museum of Fine Arts features exhibitions every year that receive international media coverage. One of the latest, focusing on modern artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Dubuffet and Bacon, attracted over 120,000 visitors.

The Lyon Museum of Fine Arts is also unique for its ability to mobilize sponsors, be they corporate or individual. In 2008, the museum was thus able to acquire the famous painting "The Flight to Egypt" by Nicolas Poussin, thanks to an exceptional sponsorship campaign that raised €17 million. “The museum repeated this initiative in 2013 to acquire Ingres’ Aretino and Charles V’s Ambassador by inviting people to contribute a sum (the minimum being 1 euro)”.

It just launched a new campaign to acquire the Man Wearing A Black Beret Holding A Pair Of Gloves by Corneille de Lyon.

Culture policy : the Lyon model inspires Europe


The National Orchestra of Lyon (ONL) is considered to be one of the best European orchestras. With the arrival of the globally renowned maestro Leonard Slatkin in 2011, the ONL marked another milestone. Leonard Slatkin also conducts the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in the United States. He has also recorded more than 100 albums, seven of which have won a Grammy Award.

Did you know ?

Inaugurated in 1975 at the heart of the Part‑Dieu business district, the auditorium features a concert hall with 2,100 seats which hosts prestigious conductors every year, such as Charles Munch, Marek Janowski, Neeme Järvi and others. The ONL also plays regularly alongside globally‑renowned soloists, including Yo‑Yo Ma, Vadim Repin, Jean‑Yves Thibaudet, Radu Lupu and others.

The institution is also well known internationally. The musicians of the ONL tour the world regularly. Two tours in China and Japan are currently under preparation. After travelling to China last January, the orchestra went on its grand tour of Japan in July.


description de l’imageTélécharger le dossier de presse ONL

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