Hugues Gall studied at the Institut d'études politiques de Paris and at the Sorbonne in German literature. He began his career in the offices of Edgar Faure, Minister of Agriculture and then Minister of National Education, where he was in charge of artistic education. He worked on the creation of the music program for the French high school diploma and of the artistic department of the University of Vincennes (today studied at the Paris VIII-Saint-Denis University). He then joined the cabinet of Edmond Michelet, Minister of Culture. In 1969 he became general secretary of the Réunion des théâtres Lyriques et Nationaux (French Board of national and lyrical theatres, RTLN) and then was appointed as Rolf Liebermann’s Assistant at the Paris Opera for a seven-years-term. Under his influence the Paris Opera became a worldwide cultural institution again, attracting a large public. In 1980, he was appointed Director of the Grand Théâtre de Genève for 15 years. He became Director of the Paris Opera in 1995 until July, 2004. He impacted the institution with major events like the successful construction of the Opera Bastille theatre, the restoration work at the Palais bGarnier and the revival of its original splendour. He brought back lyric repertoire at the Palais Garnier, with 360 performances each year on both stages and a total audience of about 900 000 people. He commissioned 80 new opera productions and allowed the Bastille Opera to host new creations,
like Salammbô (Philippe Fénelon), K (Philippe Manoury), Perelà, man of smoke (Pascal Dusapin), and L’Espace dernier (Matthias Pintscher). Under his direction, 60 new ballets entered the repertoire, among them Signes (Carolyn Carlson), Clavigo (Roland Petit), Casanova (Angelin Preljocaj), Nosferatu (Jean-Claude Gallotta), WutheringHeights (Kader Belarbi)… He worked with many stage directors, e.g., Jorge Lavelli, Jérôme Savary, Andrei Serban (Les Indes galantes), Francesca Zambello (Billy Budd), Robert Carsen (Alcina, Rusalka, Les Boréades, The Tales of Hoffmann, Capriccio), Lev Dodin (The Queen of Spades), Herbert Wernicke (Der ), Willy Decker (Lulu), Graham Vick (Peter Grimes, Don Carlo), and Laurent Pelly (Platée). He appointed James Conlon Chief Conductor and invited major artists of the lyric world to perform on the Paris Opera stage (e.g., Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Natalie Dessay, Samuel Ramey, Neil Schicoff, Placido Domingo).