The Théâtre de la Gaîté on the rue Papin in 1862
|Address||3–5 rue Papin, 3rd arrondissement |
|Demolished||1989 except for the facade, entrance and foyer|
In 1862 during Haussmann's modernization of Paris the Théâtre de la Gaîté of the boulevard du Temple was relocated to the rue Papin across from the Square des Arts et Métiers.The new theatre, built in an Italian style to designs of the architects Jacques-Ignace Hittorff and Alphonse Cusin, opened on 3 September.
Within a decade the focus began to shift from melodrama to operetta and opera, so the theatre also came to be known as the Gaîté-Lyrique.In the early 1920s Diaghilev's Ballets Russes danced here, and after World War II it was used for musical comedy. In the 1970s attendance decreased, and there were several attempts to find new uses for the building, culminating in 1989 in the construction of a short-lived amusement park, that resulted in the demolition of most of the theatre, except for the facade, entrance and foyer. The latter were restored during a 2004 reconstruction that converted the building into an arts centre, La Gaîté Lyrique, completed in November 2010.
Jacques Offenbach was the director of the Théâtre de la Gaîté from 1873 to 1874.His opéra-bouffe-féerie Le roi Carotte was first performed here in 1872 and his opéra-féerie Le voyage dans la lune in 1875. The opera Le timbre d'argent by Camille Saint-Saëns was premiered here in 1877, at which time the theatre was briefly known as the Théâtre National Lyrique.
Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes danced at the theatre in 1921, 1923, and 1925.The 1921 performances included the ballerina Lydia Lopokova in the title role of Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird , and the company gave premieres of Prokofiev's Chout (17 May 1921) and Stravinsky's Les noces (13 June 1923).
Beginning on 15 November 1932 Franz Lehár's The Land of Smiles was first performed in France. It was given in a French adaptation by André Mauprey and Jean Marietti with the title Le pays du sourire.The Dutch tenor Willy Thunis, who did not speak a word of French, sang Sou-Chong. The production received its 1,000th performance on 17 April 1939.
During the Second World War, the theatre was looted during the occupation. The large chandelier installed by Offenbach disappeared, as well the Emperor's golden coach, which had been stored in the service quarters.
After the war Henri Montjoye (né Barbero) took over the theatre, and after his death in 1950, his widow, the soprano Germaine Roger, became the theatre's director.Numerous successes were put on. The 2-act operetta Andalousie by Albert Willemetz and Raymond Vincy with music by Francis Lopez had a 12-month run that began on 25 October 1947. The 2-act Colorado by Claude Dufresne, billed as an opérette à grand spectacle with music by Jacques-Henry Rys and lyrics by Jacques Larue , starred the bass Armand Mestral (who alternated with Michel Dens) in the role of Jim Bullit, the tenor Lou Pizzara as Ricardo Diaz, the soprano Claude Chenard as Katharina Sanders, and Maurice Baquet as the little saloon pianist. The show opened on 16 December 1950 and ran for 11 months. It was revived at the theatre beginning on 12 February 1959 with Mestral and Baquet reprising their roles and Bernard Alvi as Ricardo and Andrée Grandjean as Katharina. It later went on tour and received provincial productions up into the 1990s. Visa pour l'amour, a vehicle for two of Paris's biggest musical comedy stars, the tenor Luis Mariano and the comedian Annie Cordy, was a 2-act opérette gaie with music by Lopez and a book by Vincy. It premiered in December 1961 and received around 600 performances.
In the 1970s the Carré Silvia-Monfort presented contemporary theatre, and some singers and a circus school, the Cirque Gruss, who offered their spectacles in the facing square, based themselves here for a time, and converted the attic of the theatre into stables for elephants.
In the early 1980s the dome of the main auditorium was threatening to collapse and was reinforced with concrete. In 1989 much of the theatre was demolished and transformed into an amusement park, Planète magique [ fr ], by Jean Chalopin. The main auditorium, originally holding 1800, and the orchestra pit, apparently large enough for 60 musicians, were among the parts of the building lost at this time. The venture was a failure and closed in 1991. Manuelle Gautrand, the architect who was in charge of the later restoration of the surviving parts of the theatre as well as the reconstruction and modernization of the demolished interior spaces, described the scene as follows: "The historical foyer and the lobby had been stripped of their original style and had been redecorated with vulgar colors and statues", and the amusement park itself was "an incredible accumulation of monumental sets, combining pieced together dragons, rockets from the 80s, the world of Barbie, treasure hunts among the Incas…. A sort of 'low tech Disneyland' in the centre of Paris".
In December 2003 restoration work began, and in December 2010 La Gaîté Lyrique was re-opened as a digital arts and modern music centre.
Orpheus in the Underworld and Orpheus in Hell are English names for Orphée aux enfers, a comic opera with music by Jacques Offenbach and words by Hector Crémieux and Ludovic Halévy. It was first performed as a two-act "opéra bouffon" at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris, on 21 October 1858, and was extensively revised and expanded in a four-act "opéra féerie" version, presented at the Théâtre de la Gaîté, Paris, on 7 February 1874.
Alexandre Charles Lecocq was a French composer, known for his opérettes and opéras comiques. He became the most prominent successor to Jacques Offenbach in this sphere, and enjoyed considerable success in the 1870s and early 1880s, before the changing musical fashions of the late 19th century made his style of composition less popular. His few serious works include the opera Plutus (1886), which was not a success, and the ballet Le cygne (1899). His only piece to survive in the regular modern operatic repertory is his 1872 opéra comique La fille de Madame Angot. Others of his more than forty stage works receive occasional revivals.
Les deux aveugles is an 1855 one-act French bouffonerie musicale (operetta) by Jacques Offenbach. The libretto was written by Jules Moinaux and was a condensation of his 3-act Les musiciens ambulants.
The Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens is a Parisian theatre founded in 1855 by the composer Jacques Offenbach for the performance of opéra bouffe and operetta. The current theatre is located in the 2nd arrondissement at 4 rue Monsigny with an entrance at the back at 65 Passage Choiseul. In the 19th century the theatre was often referred to as the Salle Choiseul. With the decline in popularity of operetta after 1870, the theatre expanded its repertory to include comedies.
Étienne Victor Tréfeu , was a French librettist, song writer and theatre manager. He is best known for his work with Jacques Offenbach. He originally came to prominence as a writer of popular songs. In 1873 he became the administrator of the Théâtre de la Gaîté in Paris.
La fille de Madame Angot is an opéra comique in three acts by Charles Lecocq with words by Clairville, Paul Siraudin and Victor Koning. It was premiered in Brussels in December 1872 and soon became a success in Paris, London, New York and across continental Europe. Along with Robert Planquette's Les cloches de Corneville, La fille de Madame Angot was the most successful work of the French-language musical theatre in the last three decades of the 19th century, and outperformed other noted international hits such as H.M.S. Pinafore and Die Fledermaus.
The Théâtre de la Gaîté, a former Parisian theatre company, was founded in 1759 on the boulevard du Temple by the celebrated Parisian fair-grounds showman Jean-Baptiste Nicolet as the Théâtre de Nicolet, ou des Grands Danseurs. The company was invited to perform for the royal court of Louis XV in 1772 and thereafter took the name of Grands-Danseurs du Roi. However, with the fall of the monarchy and the founding of the First French Republic in 1792, the name was changed to the less politically risky Théâtre de la Gaîté. The company's theatre on the boulevard du Temple was replaced in 1764 and 1808, and again in 1835 due to a fire. As a result of Haussmann's renovation of Paris, the company relocated to a new theatre on the rue Papin in 1862, and the 1835 theatre (pictured) was subsequently demolished.
Le timbre d'argent is an opéra fantastique in four acts by composer Camille Saint-Saëns to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré. Although completed in 1865, the opera did not receive its premiere performance until 23 February 1877, when it was presented by Albert Vizentini's Théâtre National Lyrique at the Théâtre de la Gaîté in Paris. It includes the well-known aria "Le bonheur est chose légère."
Édouard-Théodore Nicole, known as Léonce, was a 19th-century French actor and singer.
Albert Vizentini was a French violinist, composer, conductor and music writer, born in Paris on 9 November 1841, and died there on 21 October 1906. His main centre of activity was the French capital, but he also worked for ten years in Russia and toured in Britain and Ireland.
Le 66 is an opérette in one act of 1856 with music by Jacques Offenbach. The French libretto was by Auguste Pittaud de Forges and Laurencin. Gänzl describes the work as "in the rustic vein of Le violoneux and Le mariage aux lanternes".
La Gaîté Lyrique is a digital arts and modern music centre opened by the City of Paris in December 2010, located at 3-5 rue Papin in the 3rd arrondissement.
The Théâtre des Folies-Marigny, a former Parisian theatre with a capacity of only 300 spectators, was built in 1848 by the City of Paris for a magician named Lacaze and was originally known as the Salle Lacaze. It was located at the east end of the Carré Marigny of the Champs-Élysées, close to the Avenue Marigny, but faced west toward the Cirque National on the other side of the square.
Léon Battu was a French dramatist, born 1829 in Paris, where he died on 22 November 1857.
Adolphe Jaime, called Jaime fils, was a 19th-century French vaudevillist and librettist. He was the son of Ernest Jaime (1804-1884), also a playwright.
Alfred Duru was a 19th-century French playwright and operetta librettist who collaborated on more than 40 librettos for the leading French composers of operetta: Hervé, Offenbach, Lecocq and Audran.
Eugène Gaston Mestépès was a 19th-century French librettist, playwright and theatre director.
Albert de Saint-Albin was a 19th-century French playwright, journalist, chansonnier and librettist.
Maria Conchita Gélabert (1857–1922) was a lyrical artist and actress of Spanish origin who performed in France at the end of the 19th century.