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Marguerite Brunet, known by her stage name of Mademoiselle Montansier (19 December 1730, in Bayonne – 13 July 1820, in Paris), was a French actress and theatre director.
At 14 she fled from the Ursuline convent in Bordeaux, she was there engaged by an acting troupe and — in love with a handsome young actor — embarked for America. She then became the mistress of Burson, Intendant of Martinique, establishing her own dress shop in Saint-Domingue. On her return to Paris, she installed herself in the house of an aunt by marriage, Mme Montansier, a dress-seller from whom she took her stage name. She opened a gaming house on the rue Saint-Honoré, frequented by the gilded youth of Paris and allowing her to enter high society.
Having obtained through her liaison with the marquis de Saint-Contest the leadership of a small theatre on rue Satory in Versailles, she turned her attention to queen Marie-Antoinette and through her in 1775 gained the exclusive rights to balls and shows at the Palace of Versailles, followed in 1779 by rights over the theatres in Fontainebleau, Saint-Cloud, Marly, Compiègne, Rouen, Caen, Orléans, Nantes and Le Havre. Backed by such supporters, she built her first theatre at Versailles - at first called "Théâtre de la rue des Réservoirs", but soon renamed "Théâtre Montansier" - which she opened on 18 November 1777 in the presence of Louis XVI and his queen.
Profiting from the French Revolution, she set herself up in Paris in the company of her lover, Honoré Bourdon (stage name "de Neuville"), and took possession of the Théâtre des Beaujolais under the arcades of the Palais-Royal. After major restoration works, she re-opened it on 12 April 1790 with Les Epoux Mécontents, a four-act opera by Dubuisson and Storace. Renamed "Théâtre Montansier", then "Théâtre du Péristyle du Jardin Egalité", then "Théâtre de la Montagne", then "Variétés-Montansier" and finally simply "Variétés", she led it until 1806. Still holding the rights from the former court at the Tuileries, she successfully put on Italian operas in French translations, attracting the envy of the Académie Royale de Musique, exiled to the Porte Saint-Martin.
She and 85 artistes and employees of her theatre followed the armies of Charles François Dumouriez into the Austrian Netherlands, helping at the battle of Jemmapes and then taking over the leadership of the troop at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels in January 1793 (renaming that company "Comédiens de la République française"). Returning to Paris in March on the withdrawal of French troops and restoration of the Austrian government, she built "Théatre-National" on rue de la Loi (now square Louvois), opening it on 15 August.
Imprisoned by the Terror on 25 Brumaire (15 November) on the pretext of having received funds from the English and from Marie-Antoinette or having wanted to set fire to the neighbouring Bibliothèque Nationale, the troupe of "chanteurs-comédiens" which she had created were merged into that of the "Théâtre-Français" on Faubourg Saint-Germain, with their former building passing into the control of the Paris Opéra (it would be destroyed in 1820 in reprisals for the assassination of the duc de Berry). Declared innocent, she was freed ten months later and received large sums of money as compensation.
She married de Neuville on 5 September 1799 and then in 1801 set up a new troupe of Italian singers known as "Opéra-Buffa" (quickly nicknamed "Italiens"), at Théâtre Olympique on rue de la Victoire. Nevertheless, the regime change at this time was not favourable to her - the troupe was transferred to the salle Favart in 1802, then placed under the direction of Louis-Benoît Picard in 1804, and in 1803 - when Montansier was in prison several weeks for debt - de Neuville died.
Forced to leave the Palais-Royal by decree in 1806 (the neighbouring Comédiens-Français finding that she kept them in the shade) but still infatigable, she convinced Napoleon to authorise her to build a new theatre on the boulevard Montmartre, despite a decree limiting the number of theatres in Paris to just 8.
She transferred her Variétés there and on 24 June 1807, the Tout-Paris assisted in the first production of the Panorama de Momus, a vaudeville by Marc-Antoine Désaugiers. She delegated the success - and the criticism - that this brought to the actor Mira Brunet and died peacefully on 13 July 1820 at 90 years old.
A four-act comedy entitled La Montansier, with prologue, was put on in tribute to her in 1904 at the Théâtre de la Gaîté, written by Robert de Flers and Gaston Arman de Caillavet and directed by Réjane.
This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1665.
The Palais-Royal is a former royal palace located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France. The screened entrance court faces the Place du Palais-Royal, opposite the Louvre. Originally called the Palais-Cardinal, it was built for Cardinal Richelieu from about 1633 to 1639 by the architect Jacques Lemercier. Richelieu bequeathed it to Louis XIII, and Louis XIV gave it to his younger brother, Philippe I, Duke of Orléans. Philippe and the succeeding dukes of Orléans made such extensive alterations over the years, almost nothing remains of Lemercier's original design.
The rue Saint-Honoré is a street in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France.
The Théâtre du Marais has been the name of several theatres and theatrical troupes in Paris, France. The original and most famous theatre of the name operated in the 17th century. The name was briefly revived for a revolutionary theatre in 1791, and revived again in 1976. The present-day Théâtre du Marais operates at 37, rue Volta in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris.
Comédie-Italienne or Théâtre-Italien are French names which have been used to refer to Italian-language theatre and opera when performed in France.
The Théâtre des Variétés is a theatre and "salle de spectacles" at 7–8, boulevard Montmartre, 2nd arrondissement, in Paris. It was declared a monument historique in 1975.
The Théâtre du Palais-Royal is a 750-seat Parisian theatre at 38 rue de Montpensier, located at the northwest corner of the Palais-Royal in the Galerie de Montpensier at its intersection with the Galerie de Beaujolais.
The Théâtre des Variétés-Amusantes was a theatre company in Paris.
The Théâtre National was a Parisian theatre located across from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France on the rue de la Loi, which was the name of the rue de Richelieu from 1793 to 1806. The theatre was built by the actress and theatre manageress Mademoiselle Montansier, and opened on 15 August 1793. Other names have included Salle de la rue de la Loi, Salle de la rue de Richelieu, Salle Montansier, and Théâtre Montansier, although the latter two names have also been used to refer to two other theatres built and/or managed by Montansier: the Théâtre Montansier in Versailles and the Théâtre du Palais-Royal. The Théâtre National was designed by the architect Victor Louis and had a capacity of 2,300 spectators. The theatre was demolished in 1820, and its former site is now the Square Louvois.
Léonard-Alexis Autié, also Autier, often referred to simply as Monsieur Léonard, was the favourite hairdresser of Queen Marie Antoinette and in 1788–1789 founded the Théâtre de Monsieur, "the first resident theatre in France to produce a year-round repertory of Italian opera."
Benoît-Joseph Marsollier (also known as Benoît-Joseph Marsollier des Vivetières, was a French playwright and librettist. He is particularly noted for his work in opéra comique. In 1780 he also led the first exploration of the Grotte des Demoiselles.
Events from the year 1665 in France.
The Théâtre de la Cité-Variétés, also known simply as the Théâtre de la Cité, was an entertainment venue now demolished, located in the former rue Saint-Barthélemy, now the Boulevard du Palais, on the Île de la Cité in the modern 4th arrondissement of Paris. The theatre had a capacity of 1,800–2,000 spectators.
Antoine-Jean Bourlin, better known as Dumaniant, was a French comedian, playwright and goguettier.
François-Pierre-Auguste Léger was an 18th–19th-century French playwright.
Pierre Antoine Jean-Baptiste Villiers was a French playwright, journalist and poet.
Antoine-François Varner was a 19th-century French vaudevillist.
Pierre Paul Gobet, called Dorfeuille, was a French actor and playwright.
Jacques Cellerier (1742–1814) was a French architect in the neoclassical style whose buildings can be seen mainly in Paris and Dijon.
Théâtre Montansier can refer to three different theatres built by Mademoiselle Montansier: