Laurent Brunner

Director of Opéra Royal / Château de Versailles Spectacles


Since September 2007, Laurent Brunner is director of Chateau de Versailles Spectacles. He has developed the company significantly in the last ten years, increasing the number of paying visitors by 100% with 1.600.000 tickets in 2016, reopening the Opera Royal, which has been offering a season of around 80 performances every year since 2009 and producing the major Versailles contemporary art exhibitions: from Jeff Koons in 2008 to Olafur Eliasson in 2016. The musical season offers concerts and operas with stars of classical music (Cecilia Bartoli, Philippe Jaroussky, Jordi Savall, John Eliot Gardiner, Raphael Pichon, William Christie….) in the most prestigious venues of the chateau: the Opera Royal, the Chapel and Hall of Mirrors.
Chateau de Versailles de Spectacles today is a company with an annual budget of 16M€ which receives no subsidies from the government. It has 30 permanent employees and 400 summer season staff.

Born in Lorraine in the east of France, Laurent Brunner grew up in Verdun, a landmark city where history and the French-German axis are deeply rooted. He chose Strasbourg for his history and history of art studies. This is where he discovered ancient music and the opera and he launched a festival in Verdun in 1990. Its success led him to the organization of a full season in 1991 and ultimately to a merger with the Theatre Municipal, which became an official state supported stage in 1992.

In 1996, Laurent Brunner became director of the Scène Nationale de Forbach et de l’Est Mosellan (national stage of Forbach and East Moselle), covering 23 cities of the Lorraine coal basin, which he modernised and renamed Le Carreau (The Pithead). The Scène Nationale set up camp in a former pithead (Carreau Wendel in Petite Rosselle) to present shows and performances, strongly developing the offer of classic music in very diverse settings. He developed a project for Mission 2000 en France, with the renovation of an industrial building for the exhibition L’Aventure du travail (The Adventure of Work), coproduced by the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie (Paris) and the Centro de Cultura Contemporanea (Barcelona), with a budget of 3 million euros and 5 million euros renovation works. In 2002 he became also director of the Festival Perspectives in Saarbrücken (Germany).

In May 2002, he joined the cabinet of the French Minister for Culture Jean Jacques Aillagon, as the minister’s technical adviser for performing arts. He was then appointed Cultural Attaché to the French embassy in Berlin (Germany), before moving to Versailles.