In the 1830s, during the period of the Restauration, Julien Sorel, an irresistible young 18-year‑old, experiences a meteoric rise. A protégé of the abbé Chélan, he gains access to the world of the aristocracy and finds himself at the very heart of the struggle for power. The Red and the Black is the story of a tumultuous life in which love proves to be the most dangerous of passions. Madame de Rênal and Mathilde de La Mole lead the protagonist through the twists and intrigues of a 19th century in which desire, politics and religion form the backdrop for a brilliant character study. In sumptuous sets and costumes which he himself has conceived, Pierre Lacotte, who reconstituted La Sylphide, Paquita and Coppélia, now offers us an entirely new creation based on Stendhal's novel of the same name, accompanied by a musical anthology from Jules Massenet.
Le Rouge et le Noir has been filmed by director Vincent Bataillon, as a coproduction by the Paris Opera and Telmondis, with the participation of France Télévisions and the support of the CNC and the Orange Foundation – sponsor of the audiovisual broadcastings at the Paris Opera. The performance will be broadcast live on 21 October thanks to the support of Fra cinéma in the UGC movie theatres as part of the programme Viva l'Opéra! and will be screened in French and European independent movie theatres, as well as broadcast later worldwide. The performance will also be broadcast later on one of the France Télévisions's channel.