- Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique
Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique (a.k.a. the "Salle de la rue Le Peletier", or casually as the "Paris Opéra", or simply as the "Opéra") was the official
theatreof the French theatrical institution known as the " Académie Royale de Musique" from 1821 until 1873, and was principal venue of the Parisian opera(from 1822) and balletcompanies until its destruction by fire in 1873.
The theatre was designed by the architect
François Debret, and its construction was completed in only one year, replacing the previous theatre which had occupied its space. It was inaugurated in 1821.
The "Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique" is referred to under many names, the most common being the "Paris Opéra", "Opéra de Paris", "Grand Opéra", or simply as the "Opéra". Due to the many changes in government in France during the theatre's existence, the theatre was known under a number of official titles:
When King Louis XVIII's nephew, Duke Charles Ferdinand was fatally stabbed in front of the "Théâtre de l’Opéra" on the night of
13 February 1820, the King decided that the theatre would be demolished in order to build a chapel in its place (this chapel was demolished in 1830, and today the Place Louvoisoccupies its space). Since 1794, the "Théâtre de l’Opéra" had been the principal venue of the "Académie Royale de Musique", the great institution of French theatrical arts consisting of Parisian Opera, Ballet, and music. Very soon after the death of his nephew in February of 1820, the King commissioned the architect François Debret to design a new theatre for the "Académie" on the rue Le Peletier, which was completed one year later. During the construction the opera and ballet companies occupied the "Théâtre Favart" and the "Salle Louvois".
The "Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique", also known as the "Salle de la rue Le Peletier" or more popularly as the "Paris Opéra" (as were of its many predecessors) was inaugurated on
16 August 1821with a mixed-bill that opened with the anthem "Vive Henry VIII", and included the composer Catel's opera "Les Bayadères" and the Ballet MasterGardel's ballet "Le Retour de Zéphire".
Upon its inauguration the "Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique" was incorporated as part of the "
Académie des Beaux-Arts", the society of French fine arts established in 1816. In 1822 the Opera company officially made the theatre its principal venue, and soon many of the great grand operas of the 19th century were being presented for the first time on its stage, among them: Gioacchino Rossini's " Guillaume Tell" (1829), Giacomo Meyerbeer's "Robert le Diable" (1831), Gaetano Donizetti's " La fille du régiment" (1840), and Charles Gounod's Parisian version of "Faust" (1869).
The grand theatre, which comprised an incredible 14,000 square metres including a 104 ft. stage, was quite advanced for its time; on
6 February, 1822gas was used for the first time in order to light the stage effects in Nicolas Isouard's opera "Aladin ou La Lampe merveilleuse". The stage and orchestra pit were able to be removed in order to transform the auditorium into a massive hall which could accommodate large balls, etc.
Along with the
Ballet of Her Majesty's Theatrein London, the "Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique" played host to the heyday of the romantic ballet, with such Balletmasters as Jules Perrot, Arthur Saint-Léon, Filippo Taglioni, Joseph Mazilier, Jean Coralli, and Paul Taglionistaging many masterworks for the theatre's company (today known as the " Paris Opera Ballet"). Among these works: " La Sylphide" (1832), " Giselle" (1841), " Paquita" (1846), " Le Corsaire" (1856), "Le Papillon" (1860), " La Source" (1866), and " Coppélia" (1870). Among the great ballerinas to grace the stage of the "Opéra" during this time were Marie Taglioni, Carlotta Grisi, Carolina Rosati, Fanny Elssler, Lucile Grahn, and Fanny Cerrito.
On the night of
29 October, 1873, the legendary "Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique" met the same fate as many of its predecessors: it was destroyed by a fire which raged for 27 hours, believed to have been started by the theatre's innovative gas lighting. Fortunately, in 1858Emperor Napoleon III hired the civic planner Baron Haussmannto begin construction on a second theatre for the Parisian Opera and Ballet based on the design of architect Charles Garnier, which after the destruction of the "Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique" would be the only theatre for the two companies. In 1875 the new theatre, today known as the " Palais Garnier", was inaugurated.
In 1989 the Opera company relocated to the newly completed "
Opéra Bastille", although performances are still held by the troupe at the "Palais Garnier", where the Ballet company remains. In spite of the name, this theatre is referred to by many people as the "Paris Opéra".
The "Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique" was known under many names from the time it was first inaugurated in 1821 until its destruction by fire in 1873.
When first established, the theatre was known as the "Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique", being that it was the official theatre of the "Académie Royale de Musique". From 1848 until 1852 during the transition of the
Second French Republicinto the Second French Empire, the theatre was known simply as the "Théâtre de l'Opéra". In 1852, at the start of the reign of Emperor Napoleon III as ruler of the Second French Empire (from 1852 until 1870), the theatre's official name was changed as the "Théâtre de l’Académie Impérial de Musique", which was in keeping with the change of titles of the "Académie Royale de Musique" to the "Académie Impérial de Musique". In 1855 the theatre's name was simplified as the "Théâtre Impérial de l’Opéra" when the old "Académie" ceased to exist, a name which was retained until the fall of the Second French Empire in 1870. Upon the establishment of the Third French Republicin 1870 the theatre was again known simply as the "Théâtre de l’Opéra", a title it retained until its destruction by fire in 1873.
The successor to the "Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique", the opulent "
Palais Garnier", has also been known under many names since its inauguration in 1875 to the present day. Just as its predecessors, the theatre is known as the "Paris Opéra".
Le siège de Corinthe" (1826) - Gioacchino Rossini
Moïse et Pharaon" (1827) - Gioacchino Rossini
La muette de Portici" (1828) - Daniel Auber
Guillaume Tell" (1829) - Gioacchino Rossini
*"Robert le Diable" (1831) -
I puritani" (1835) - Vincenzo Bellini
Les Huguenots" (1836) - Giacomo Meyerbeer
La fille du régiment" (1840) - Gaetano Donizetti
Le prophète" (1849) - Giacomo Meyerbeer
Les vêpres siciliennes" (1855) - Giuseppe Verdi
Il trovatore" (1857) - Giuseppe Verdi
*"Faust (Paris Version)" (1859) -
*"Tannhäuser (Paris Version)" (1861) -
Les Troyens" (1863) - Hector Berlioz
Don Carlos" (1867) - Giuseppe Verdi
La Fille Mal Gardée" (1828) - chor. Jean-Pièrre Aumer; mus. Ferdinand Hérold
La Sylphide" (1832) - chor. Filippo Taglioni; mus. Jean-Madeliene Schnietzhoeffer
La Fille du Danube" (1836) - chor. Filippo Taglioni; mus. Adolphe Adam
*"Le Diable amoureux" (1840) - chor.
Joseph Mazilier; mus. by Napoléon Henri Reberand Francois Benoist
Giselle" (1841) - chor. Jean Coralliand Jules Perrot; mus. Adolphe Adam (add. Friedrich Burgmüller)
*"La Péri" (1843) - chor. Jean Coralli; mus. Friedrich Burgmüller
*"Le Diable à Quatre" (1845) - chor. Joseph Mazilier; mus. by Adolphe Adam
Paquita" (1846) - chor. Joseph Mazilier; mus. Edouard Deldevez
Le Corsaire" (1856) - chor. Joseph Mazilier; mus. Adolphe Adam
*"Le Marché des Innocents" (1859) - chor.
Marius Petipa; mus. Cesare Pugni
Le Papillon" (1860) - chor. Marie Taglioni; mus. Jaques Offenbach
La Source" (1866) - chor. Arthur Saint-Léon; (mus. Léo Delibesand Léon Minkus
Coppélia" (1870) - chor. Arthur Saint-Léon, mus. Léo Delibes
* [http://www.operadeparis.fr/ Opéra National de Paris]
* [http://www.scholarly-societies.org/history/1669arm.html Notes on the Académie Royale de Musique from the Scholarly Societies Project]
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