Odéon - Théâtre de l'Europe

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The Théâtre de l'Odéon
The Théâtre de l'Odéon

The Odéon - Théâtre de l'Europe is a French state theater in Paris .


The theater goes back to a royal patent from August 10, 1779, in which King Louis XVI. decided to build a theater in the Latin Quarter , the student district and in the immediate vicinity of the Palais du Luxembourg for the Comédie-Française . It was inaugurated in 1782 under the name Théâtre Français and offered 1900 seats, including, which was unusual for the time, seats in the stalls.

The first great success was Le mariage de Figaro (Marriage of Figaro) by Beaumarchais in 1784 . After a fire on March 18, 1799, in which two people died, the troupe reunited with those of François-Joseph Talma and the Comédie-Française and performed permanently in the Salle Richelieu. The theater was rebuilt by the architect Chalgrin and opened in June 1808 under the name Théâtre de Sa Majesté l'Impératrice et Reine . On March 20, 1818 it burned down again. It was rebuilt by Pierre-Thomas Baraguay (1748-1820) and in September 1819 by Louis XVIII. reopened as Second Théâtre-Français . This house still exists today.

In the 19th century operas, romantic then realistic pieces, sophisticated entertainment pieces and melodramas were performed. Popular authors included Gioachino Rossini , Alfred de Musset and Alexandre Dumas the Elder .

The Odéon reached its high point in the early 20th century under the directors André Antoine (1906–1914) and Firmin Gémier (1922–1933), who enriched the repertoire of the second house of the Comédie-Française with successful comedies.

From 1946 to 1959 the theater was called Salle Luxembourg , while the parent company of the Comédie-Française was called Salle Richelieu . On September 1, 1959, it was named Théâtre de France and was inaugurated as an independent theater on October 21, 1959 with Tête d'or by Paul Claudel .

Theater director Jean-Louis Barrault , together with Madeleine Renaud, offered world premieres and premieres of contemporary playwrights such as Eugène Ionesco , François Billetdoux , Marguerite Duras , Edward Albee , Samuel Beckett and Jean Genet, as well as revivals by Jean Giraudoux , Luigi Pirandello , Paul Claudel , Jean Anouilh and classics. Barrault also received the Théâtre des Nations at the Théâtre de France, with mostly foreign-language performances by foreign ensembles. In 1967 the studio theater Le petit Odéon was set up with 110 seats and a 10 m² stage.

During the May Revolution of 1968 , students kept the theater occupied for several weeks. Barrault had to give up the theater. Since 1971 the name is again Théâtre national de l'Odéon . After Pierre Dux and Jacques Toja, François Barachin became artistic director in 1983, while Giorgio Strehler was appointed director of the Théâtre de l'Europe , located in the Odéon .

In March 1990, Lluis Paqual took over the management of the Odéons, which has now been renamed Odéon - Théâtre de l'Europe and was initially used exclusively as a European theater, with Strehler holding the presidency of the Association of European Theaters ( Union des Théâtres de l 'Europe ). In 1996, Georges Lavaudant took over the management of the theater. In 2006 it was reopened after extensive restoration and replacement of the entire apparatus.


The architecture of the Odeon served largely as a model for the construction of the National Theater in Munich by Karl von Fischer from 1811 to 1818, and for its reconstruction by Leo von Klenze from 1823 to 1825 after a severe fire.


  • Horst Schumacher (Red.): Théâtre National de l'Odéon in: Manfred Brauneck , Gérard Schneilin (Ed.): Theater Lexicon 1. Terms and epochs, stages and ensembles . Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag Reinbek near Hamburg, 5th completely revised new edition August 2007, ISBN 978-3-499-55673-9 .

Web links

Commons : Théâtre National de l'Odéon  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 48 ° 51 ′ 0.1 ″  N , 2 ° 20 ′ 20.1 ″  E