Odéon Theater of Paris!

Well back to the lonely period we are cruising thru and decided to look back deep into my blog to update some older posts that needs it. After several years, some of these posts gets very updated and the links fade away. Therefore, here is my updated post on the Odéon Theater of Paris!

Ok so on my ongoing opportunity to visit my eternal Paris , let me continue my saga of the eternal city with a very nice monument. I have written briefly before and passed by it many times, a great monument of my belle France often overlook but it should not. Let me tell you briefly about the Odéon theater of Paris! or now of Europe!  The neighborhood of the Odéon is the 22nd administrately neighborhood of Paris located in the 6éme arrondissement or district of Paris north of the Jardin du Luxembourg.


The neighborhood of the Odéon is so named because of its proximity to the Théatre de l’Odéon, itself making reference to the ancient meaning of the word: a place for songs and, more generally, a Greco-Roman theater. The statue standing in the middle of Place Henri-Mondor is that of Danton, which is not far from the former home of the politician and the place of his arrest.  The Théatre National de l’Odéon or National Theater of the Odeon, called since March 1990 Odeon-Theater of Europe, is located at Place de l’Odeon , 6éme arrondissement, inaugurated in 1782 to host the troupe Théatre-Français or French Theater. The Odeon is since September 1971 one of the six national theaters of France.  Architecturally, it is an Italian-style theater with a cubic-shaped stage and semicircular hall and the exterior is neoclassical.  The exterior is sober with an austerity looking façade the original façade was flanked by pavilions linked by an arc and a semi circular layout, this is the first Italian inspired theater with an orchestra ,benches while the public attended on foot.


A bit of history I like

In 1767, the Marquis de Marigny, then director of the King’s buildings, asked Marie-Joseph Peyre and Charles de Wailly to work on a project for a new theater for the Théâtre-Français.  On March 26, 1770, a decision of the Council of the King orders the execution of the construction site on the ground of the garden of the hotel of the prince of Condé, which this one wishes to be undone in order to settle in the Bourbon palace.   The location of the theater is slightly modified compared to the original project, so as to bring it closer to the palace of Luxembourg, home of Sire, brother of the King, so that it is a new amenity for their home work begins in May 1779. The troupe of the Comédie-Française settles in its new walls on February 16, 1782 and the hall is inaugurated by Queen Marie-Antoinette on April 9.  On April 27, 1784, The Marriage of Figaro de Beaumarchais was created by Dazincourt, still in front of Queen Marie Antoinette and the court. The comedian Talma debuted on November 21, 1787.

By a decree of July 1789, the National Assembly renamed the room Théatre de la Nation or Theater of the Nation. In 1791, the ban by Louis XVI of the play of Marie-Joseph Chénier ,Charles IX, causes a conflict between actors loyal to the king and those favorable to the French Republic, which will lead to the departure of these last April 1791, led by Talma, for the new room of the Theater of the Republic at the Palais Royal. It is these actors loyal to the French Republic who will form the current Comédie-Française. Georges Danton would have said: “If Figaro killed the nobility, Charles IX will kill the royalty.”  Arrested during the Terror, in the French revolution ,the actors who remained at the Théâtre de la Nation reopened the theater on June 27, 1794 under the name of  Théatre de l’Egalité or theater of equality, for performances given  by and for the people, in a hall transformed by the destruction of lodges in egalitarian amphitheater stretched with blue-white-red draperies. It becomes in July 13, 1796, the Odéon , in reference to the odéon of ancient Greece.

paris theatre odeon feb14

There is a second theater. The theater of the Odeon, ceded by Napoleon to the Senate and restored identically by the architect Chalgrin, reopened in June 1808 under the name of “Theater of Her Majesty the Empress and Queen”. However, the room is again destroyed by a fire on March 20, 1818. The new theater opened in 1819 and place by king Louis XVIII under the management of the Comédie-Française, as the second French theater or Second Théâtre-Français.  During the days of the Trois Glorieuses revolution in  July 1830 the theater was the center of the insurrection of the revolutionary youth. In 1848 Victor Hugo writes   “The Odeon is still deserted. putting a theatre in a deserted neighborhood that you want to vivify and imagine that you will bring the public, it’s as if you figure that by posing a fish on the earth somewhere, you will bring water”  As the area of the Faubourg Saint Germain does not attract as many folks as those of the Tuileries, Palais-Royal, and the now call Boulevard des Italians.

Sarah Bernhardt made her debut at the Odéon in the role of Aricie du Phèdre Racine given for the feast of the Emperor August 15, 1866. But it is in 1869, in a small act of François Coppée, Le Passant that she enters, under the costume of the “Florentine singer,” in her glorious career. In 1872 she triumph in Ruy Blas by Victor Hugo before joining the Comédie-Française.  In May 1968, the Odéon is open to students during the uprising demonstrations. The Odéon became a National Theater in September 1971. It is only on June 1, 1990 that the Odéon will truly regain its independence vis-à-vis the Comédie-Française, by decree. It then takes the name of Odeon-Théatre de l’Europe. Since 2003, the Odéon has a second modular room from 350 to 450 seats, installed in former warehouses sets of the Opera Garnier, boulevard Berthier ,17éme arrondissement of Paris.


The official Odéon Théatre de l’Europehttps://www.theatre-odeon.eu/#1

The Paris tourist office on the Odéon Théatre de l’Europehttps://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71656/Od%C3%A9on-Th%C3%A9%C3%A2tre-de-l%E2%80%99Europe

There you go folks, a nice monument architecturally stunning and lots of history inside. The shows are nice if with time. Another dandy in my eternal Paris, the Odéon theater and its neighborhood is a must to visit. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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