Théâtre Impérial de Compiègne

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Théâtre Impérial de Compiègne
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Théâtre Impérial de Compiègne
Location within France
Address Compiègne
Coordinates 49°25′11″N2°49′49″E / 49.419677°N 2.830406°E / 49.419677; 2.830406
Capacity 816
Architect Gabriel-Auguste Ancelet, Renaud Bardon

The Théâtre Impérial de Compiègne is a theater in Compiègne, France.

Compiègne Subprefecture and commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Compiègne is a commune in the Oise department in northern France. It is located on the Oise River. Its inhabitants are called Compiégnois.



The Emperor Napoleon III decided to construct a theater in Compiègne to entertain his court in 1866. [1] He chose the location and the architect of the building, Gabriel-Auguste Ancelet. [1] Work began in 1867 and went well until the outbreak of the 1870 Franco-Prussian War. The Battle of Sedan ruined the Empire and eliminated the possibility of completing the building on schedule. The walls were built, but the project for decorating the theater was suspended. The sculptures by Gustave Crauck were made on time, but the ceiling, which was to include paintings by Élie Delaunay, remained bare.

Gabriel-Auguste Ancelet French architect

Gabriel-Auguste Ancelet was a French architect who undertook various projects for the Emperor Napoleon III, and later taught for many years at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Franco-Prussian War Conflict between the Kingdom of Prussia and several other german kingdoms and (grand) duchies and the Second French Empire

The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the German states of the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia. Lasting from 19 July 1870 to 28 January 1871, the conflict was caused by Prussian ambitions to extend German unification and French fears of the shift in the European balance of power that would result if the Prussians succeeded. Some historians argue that the Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck deliberately provoked the French into declaring war on Prussia in order to draw the independent southern German states—Baden, Württemberg, Bavaria and Hesse-Darmstadt—into an alliance with the North German Confederation dominated by Prussia, while others contend that Bismarck did not plan anything and merely exploited the circumstances as they unfolded. None, however, dispute the fact that Bismarck must have recognized the potential for new German alliances, given the situation as a whole.

Gustave Crauck sculptor from France

Gustave Adolphe Désiré Crauck was a French sculptor with a long distinguished career.


In 1987 the association for the Théâtre Impérial de Compiègne was created by Pierre Jourdan, who led the restoration program and the collection of funds to restore the building and make it a mecca for the operatic stage. [2] A team of project managers and architects including Renaud Bardon [1] started work in 1990 to complete the building, while another association under Pierre Jourdan was responsible for programming shows. [3] The theater was officially opened in September 1991 with the opera Henry VIII by Camille Saint-Saëns.

<i>Henry VIII</i> (opera) opera by Camille Saint-Saëns

Henry VIII is an opera in four acts by Camille Saint-Saëns, from a libretto by Léonce Détroyat and Armand Silvestre, based on El cisma en Inglaterra(The schism in England) by Pedro Calderón de la Barca.

Camille Saint-Saëns French composer

Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was a French composer, organist, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. His best-known works include Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (1863), the Second Piano Concerto (1868), the First Cello Concerto (1872), Danse macabre (1874), the opera Samson and Delilah (1877), the Third Violin Concerto (1880), the Third ("Organ") Symphony (1886) and The Carnival of the Animals (1886).

Later history

In December 2008, during the Extraordinary General Meeting held at the theater a little over a year after the death of Pierre Jourdan, the two associations were dissolved. [4] On 6 March 2009 the new management was entrusted to Éric Rouchaud. The technical management was entrusted to Jean-Philippe Le Priol in 2008. On 21 September 2010, a plaque was placed in the atrium of the theater, recalling the memory of Pierre Jourdan now inseparable from the place. [5]


The quality of the acoustics of the room comes from its design, built in the Italian style, and 90% wood. With the support of the sound insulation of the stage house and the transfer and amplification of sound through the wood, the reverberation gives the room excellent acoustic qualities, with low power requirements for acoustic, electric and electro-acoustic instruments. Heads of renowned orchestra have recognized the qualities of the room.

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  1. 1 2 3 "Historique du théâtre impérial". Archived from the original on 2012-06-06.
  2. "Pierre Jourdan, ou les victoires du goût français".
  3. "Théâtre impérial de Compiègne, l'histoire d'une résurrection".
  4. "Théâtre impérial : la fin d'une histoire".
  5. "Le souvenir de Pierre Jourdan au théâtre impérial".