La Monnaie / De Munt La Monnaie
De Munt
Behind the scenes
In the wings of the opera


  • A l’italienne painting technique

    A method that consists of painting on canvases stretched on the ground using long brushes. Not to be confused with the à l’allemande technique, which involves suspending the canvases.   
  • A stagione

    from the Italian for "season," refers to a seasonal management system in which an opera house programs around ten operas that are each performed several times consecutively. This system contrasts with the repertory system. In the stagione approach, soloists and artistic teams are engaged for specific productions.
  • Artistic team

    The director does not work alone, but is assisted by a team made up of a set designer, a costume designer, and sometimes a lighting designer, a video maker, etc. That team collaborates with La Monnaie’s own teams throughout the creation of a production.  
  • Banda

    A musical ensemble that plays music onstage (or backstage) that is heard by the characters onstage.   
  • Bar (fly bar, stage pulley bar)

    A horizontal metal bar located above the stage from which parts of the set, curtains, or lights are suspended.  
  • Bowings

    They indicate, for the stringed instruments, how to move the bow on the strings. Symbols indicate to the musician whether to “push” or “pull”. The position of the bow and the length of the bow stroke are also indicated.   
  • Cast

    The singers selected to play the various parts in an opera.
  • Castrato

    Castrati were male singers who were castrated before puberty to preserve their prepubescent vocal characteristics. Castrati were particularly prevalent in 17th and 18th-century opera, with the practice being officially banned in 1902.
  • Choir

    An ensemble of singers who perform a work collectively.
  • Concertmaster

    She or he is the leader of the first violin section. This musician is responsible for playing any solos and is also the representative of the orchestra and responsible for communicating with the conductor.
  • Cour and Jardin (stage right and stage left)

    From the auditorium, cour is the right of the stage and jardin is the left. These terms enable all the artists and technicians to get into position on the left or on the right for movements, exits, and entrances. They were adopted in the eighteenth century at the Théâtre des Tuileries in Paris. The palace court was located to the right of the stage and the gardens to the left.  
  • Cue sheet

    A list, including timings, of all onstage changes, changes in lighting and scenery, and singers’ entrances. It is compiled by the stage managers based on the score.  
  • Director

    Responsible for the staging, the director provides the artistic vision for an opera or play and coordinates all the elements that make up the show: acting, scenery, lighting, rhythm, etc. 
  • Dynamics

    Variations in the intensity of a musical note or phrase (from piano, quiet to forte- loud, and the degrees of variation mezzo pianofortissimo, etc.)  
  • Final dress rehearsal

    The last stage rehearsal with the orchestra before the premiere, played without interruption.
  • Fly towers (flies)

    The top part of the grid, from which technicians called fly operators manoeuvre parts of the sets up and down.  
  • Full score

    The conductor’s score, in which all the parts for all instruments are detailed.    
  • In bocca al luppo

    Italian expression meaning "good luck".
  • Italian rehearsal

    Music rehearsal with orchestra but without staging.
  • Manoeuvre

    Any action performed by the stage machinery to lift the curtain or carry out a scene change, seen or unseen. 
  • Orchestra pit

    Situated in front of and below the stage, this is where the orchestra is located during the performance of an opera. 
  • Patina

    A painting technique for simulating textures. 
  • Philippe Boesmans

    Belgian composer.
  • Piano dress rehearsal

    Dress rehearsal without the orchestra.
  • Piano tech

    Onstage rehearsal with piano. 
  • Pre-dress rehearsal

    Stage rehearsal with the orchestra, played without interruption.
  • Premiere

    The first public performance of an opera.
  • Premiere

    The first public performance of an opera
  • Publisher

    He handles the production, exploitation, and distribution of the scores, as well as managing all activities related to the exploitation of the intellectual property rights (copyright) of the works. Renting a score from a publisher ensures that you will have a score that is as close to the original text as possible, with no errors, and that is as legible as possible. A score can evolve depending on new interpretations and discoveries, which is why some (even the best-known operas by Verdi and Mozart) are frequently republished.  
  • Rapid scene change

    A scene change that is carried out very quickly.
  • Revival

    A production that has already been performed and is revived several years later.  
  • Revolve

    Revolving platform used to turn the sets. 
  • Richard Wagner

    19th-century German composer who revolutionised the art of opera. His operas include Parsifal, Der Ring des Nibelungen and Tristan und Isolde.
  • Scene docks

    Located on either side of the stage and invisible to the audience, this is where the stage managers and prop technicians operate, and where the singers are positioned before their entrances onstage. Parts of the sets can also be stored there.  
  • Scenic design

    The art and study of the construction of scenery for the stage (closely related to the staging).   
  • Scenic designer

    An artist specialising in the creation of scenery, responsible for the scenic design.  
  • Score

    Document containing a number of symbols (including notes) enabling music to be read and played.
  • Season

    An opera season runs from September to June. Around ten productions are usually performed during this period, with each production usually presented several times.
  • Soloists

    The artists who sing or play a part alone, or who sing a solo in an opera.
  • Stage manager

    Person who manages the technical organisation of a show and acts as a link between the artistic team and the technical team.  
  • Stage-orchestra rehearsal

    Stage rehearsal with staging and the orchestra  
  • Staging

    All the elements that contribute to a production, including actors, sets, lighting, and rhythm, and shape the aesthetic and vision of the work.
  • Tessitura

    Tessitura denotes the range of notes, spanning from the lowest to the highest, that a singer can perform with comfort and ease.
  • Toï toï toï

    German expression for wishing success. Saying "good luck” is said to bring bad luck.
  • Vocalise

    A singing exercise where the singer melodically modulates their voice using a vowel sound.