The Théâtre du Châtelet found her color of youth at the end of two and a half years of expertise and work, with delicacy and distinction, have managed to restore shine and merriment at this popular theatre.
In a building that has seen no less than five restorations since its inauguration in 1862, it gives an impression of freshness. She was allowed to remove a color brown-beige, which was sadly corridors and hallways. And of the original stage sets of faux marble, with effects of trompe-l’oeil, appeared.
“We put an end to the reign of the beige,” said to AFP the architect’s representative, Philippe Pumain, which, with Christian Laporte, heritage architect, has supervised this project, one of the most important of the City of Paris in recent years.
The total cost amounted to 31.5 Million euros, of which 5.2 Million funded by tarpaulins, covers, advertising and sponsorship – including a subscription to the heritage Foundation (121 donors and 43.000 euros raised).
The success the most brilliant is the great room. She has regained the luster that had wanted him to give Gabriel Davioud, architect of the imperial Theatre of the Châtelet. The restoration has concentrated on the parts painted and gilded balconies and the cupola.
– “Restore, it was do it again” –
The theatre has also found its ceiling back-lit (once with spouts of gas), which will provide in the room different light intensities through variations of colors of this ceiling.
For the parts painted and gilded, “we tried,” says Philippe Pumain, to be closer to the original décor. I think that the room has never been so close as today. At the end of the Nineteenth century, they have re-painted decoration, restored. But restore it at the time, it was almost to do it again. The original décor has hardly been seen since the end of the Nineteenth century”, he says.
It was therefore necessary to remove one of the overlays of paint, varnish and bronze paint to make this room of 2,000 seats brighter and more colorful.
For the Grand Foyer, “we haven’t found the original décor and it was necessary to study photos and drawings of the original. It is as well that we have recreated this paper painted, we drew, we made print. It was recreated in neo-renaissance style”. For more light, five oculi giving on the gallery adjoining were opened.
Another meticulous work of investigation has been carried out for the statues of allegorical, representing the dance, the drama, the comedy and the music is perched on the balustrade of the terrace Nijinsky.
“They were gone at the end of the Nineteenth century. It was therefore necessary to examine the work of four sculptors from photos of the time, to redo the statues,” said the architect.
In addition to restoring artistic, it is a complex set of technical work that has been carried out: déplombage and asbestos removal, full reconstruction of 100% of the networks of ventilation, heating, plumbing, air-conditioning, expansion and modernisation of the changing rooms and toilets for women, access of people with reduced mobility.
– Ballets russes –
A new cage-scene, computerized, will also allow for scene changes more rapid and a portage more important.
Another update to the taste of the day, the galleries have changed the name of the Gallery: Adami became the Gallery Josephine Baker, the hall of mirrors, the Salon of Juliette Greco, the Salon Debussy was renamed to Salon Barbara, the Salon Wagner called the Salon Nadia and Lili Boulanger.
Ruth Mackenzie, artistic director of the Théâtre du Châtelet, has recalled the popular character of this prestigious place, known beyond Paris, “which was invented as a new form of operetta, where the ballets russes came, as well as Picasso, Cocteau, Satie, Stravinsky, Debussy: they invented new artistic forms”.
The ballet “The afternoon of a faun” by Nijinski on the music of Debussy had its world premiere here. And Erik Satie was inaugurated Parade, his first ballet written by Cocteau, with the first painted decoration on stage by Picasso.
Author(s): By Jean-Louis DE LA VAISSIERE – Paris (AFP)