Théâtre des Variétés
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
It owes its creation to the theatre director Mademoiselle Montansier (Marguerite Brunet). Imprisoned for debt in 1803 and frowned upon by the government, a decree of 1806 ordered her company to leave the Théâtre du Palais-Royal which then bore the name of "Variétés". The decree's aim was to move out Montansier's troupe to make room for the company from the neighbouring Théâtre-Français, which had stayed empty even as the Variétés-Montansier had enjoyed immense public favour. Strongly unhappy about having to leave the theatre by 1 January 1807, the 77 year old Montansier gained an audience with Napoleon himself and received his help and protection. She thus reunited the "Société des Cinq", which directed her troupe, in order to found a new theatre, the one which stands at the side of the passage des Panoramas. It was inaugurated on 24 June 1807. The theatre plays a prominent role in Emile Zola's novel of 1880, Nana, as the theatre in which Nana achieves celebrity in the opening chapters.
Premieres at the theatre
- 1864: La belle Hélène, opéra bouffe by Jacques Offenbach, libretto by Meilhac and Halévy
- 1867: La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein, opéra bouffe by Jacques Offenbach, libretto by Meilhac and Halévy
- 1868: La Périchole, opéra bouffe by Jacques Offenbach, libretto by Meilhac and Halévy
- 1869: Les brigands, opéra bouffe by Jacques Offenbach, libretto by Meilhac and Halévy
- 1883: Mam'zelle Nitouche, vaudeville-operette by Hervé
- 1907: L'Enfant prodigue, the first feature-length European film, directed by Michel Carré, fils.
- 1923: Ciboulette, operetta by Reynaldo Hahn, libretto by Robert de Flers and Francis de Croisset
- 1946: César by Marcel Pagnol, after his film of the same name.