Théâtre des Variétés

The Théâtre des Variétés is a theatre and "salle de spectacles" at 7–8, boulevard Montmartre, 2nd arrondissement, in Paris. It was declared a monument historique in 1974.

Théâtre des Variétés
The théâtre des Variétés, c. 1820
Address7, boulevard Montmartre, 2nd.
Opened1807; 217 years ago (1807)
ArchitectJacques Cellerier, Jean-Antoine Alavoine



The theatre owed its creation to Mademoiselle Montansier (Marguerite Brunet). Imprisoned for debt in 1803 and frowned upon by the government, a decree of 1806 ordered her company to leave the Théâtre du Palais-Royal which then bore the name of "Variétés". The decree's aim was to move out Montansier's troupe to make room for the company from the neighbouring Théâtre-Français, which had stayed empty even as the Variétés-Montansier had enjoyed immense public favour. Strongly unhappy about having to leave the theatre by 1 January 1807, the 77-year-old Montansier gained an audience with Napoleon himself and received his help and protection. She thus reunited the "Société des Cinq", which directed her troupe, in order to found a new theatre, the one which stands at the side of the passage des Panoramas. It was inaugurated on 24 June 1807.[1]

The liberalisation of the regulations of Parisian theatres in 1864 led the management of the Variétés to stage several key works by Offenbach.[1] The composer siezed the opportunities in the new legal framework to present his work to different audiences beyond the Bouffes-Parisiens, and the final six years of the Empire marked the high-point of his career, with La belle Hélène and La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein premiered there. The theatre also witnessed the first success in operetta of Charles Lecocq.[2]

Suzanne Lagier made her début there at the age of thirteen in 1846,[3][4] in the show Veuve de quinze ans, a role which was written for her by Pierre Adolphe Capelle.[3] Ève Lavallière appeared in operettas and plays there from 1892 for twenty years in works by Offenbach, Feydeau and Audran. Albert Brasseur was a member of the Variétés company from 1891 playing in many productions including several Offenbach works La Vie parisienne, Les Brigands, La Belle Hélène and Orphée aux Enfers[5] and many plays by Feydeau.[6]

The theatre plays a prominent role in Émile Zola's 1880 novel, Nana, as the establishment in which the title character achieves celebrity with the premiere of La Blonde Vénus at the Théâtre des Variétés in April 1867 in the opening chapters.[7]

Other activities


In 2012 the theatre began to host technical conferences such as dotJS or dotScale.[8]

Premieres at the theatre

Poster for first run of Les Brigands at the Variétés, 1869


Théâtre des Variétés in 2012, on the bill the comedy Adieu, je reste!


  1. ^ a b Charlton, David. Paris. In: The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Macmillan, London and New York, 1997, 4, vii, p.873 'Théâtre des Variétés'.
  2. ^ L'Epine, Bérengère de and Girard, Pauline. Rire et subversion ? L’opérette sous le Second Empire. In: Les spectacles sous le second Empire, ed Jean-Claude Yon. Armand Colin, Paris, 2010, p.322-323.
  3. ^ a b Dubé, Paul; Marchioro, Jacques. "Suzanne Lagier — Biographie". Du Temps des Cerises Aux Feuilles Mortes. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  4. ^ Authier, Catherine. "Thérésa, la première vedette de café-concert — L'Histoire par l'image". Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  5. ^ Noël and Stoullig. Les Annales du théâtre et de la musique (1893), p. 256.
  6. ^ Parker, John. Who's Who in the Theatre. London 4th edition, 1922, Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons, p.910-911.
  7. ^ Joyce, John-Pierre. Enfolding the Action - Zola at the opera. Opera, July 2023, Vol.74, No.7, p.798.
  8. ^ "DotJS".

48°52′16″N 2°20′31″E / 48.87111°N 2.34194°E / 48.87111; 2.34194