Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin

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Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin

The Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin is a venerable theatre and opera house at 18, Boulevard Saint-Martin in the 10e arrondissement of Paris.

History

It was first built very rapidly in 1781 under the direction of Nicolas Lenoir (1726–1810) to house the Paris Opéra, whose previous home, the second Salle du Palais-Royal, had burned down on 8 June 1781. The new theatre had a capacity of about 2,000 spectators and included a parterre with the lowest-priced tickets sold only to males who stood throughout the performances, an amphitheatre, and four rows of boxes. The Opéra used the theatre from 27 October 1781 until August 1794.

The theatre was destroyed by fire during the Paris Commune of 1871 and replaced in 1873 with a building designed by the architect Oscar de la Chardonnière (d. 1881), who enlisted the aid of the sculptor Jacques-Hyacinthe Chevalier (1825–1895) in the design of the new facade. The new interior was designed by H. Chevalier. With relatively brief interruptions, the theatre has been in continuous operation since.

Premieres
  • 1880 : L'arbre de Noël, operetta by Alexandre Charles Lecocq and Georges Jacobi
  • 1874 : a stage version of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days, adapted by Verne and Adolphe d'Ennery, which ran 415 performances (before its subsequent very long run at the Théâtre du Châtelet)
  • 1887 : La Tosca, written by Victorien Sardou for Sarah Bernhardt, with a hugely successful first run of 200 performances
  • 1897 : the original Cyrano de Bergerac, the best-known work of Edmond Rostand, with Benoît-Constant Coquelin in the title role
  • 1914 : Monsieur Brotonneau, play by Gaston Arman de Caillavet and Robert de Flers

The theatre's other productions have included the ballet Leda, the Swiss Milkmaid (1823) and works by Dany Boon, Charles-Gaspard Delestre-Poirson and Gaston Arman de Caillavet.